OLD OTLIENSIANS 1stXV 36 pts vs BURLEY 8
The sun came out as
‘Ensians took the field in this Yorkshire Silver Trophy 1st round
encounter and, due to injuries and unavailability, there were five changes
from the side which was successful in the League the previous week. From
the start, the home side pressured Burley and when a kick through was
fumbled by the defence, young winger Richard Goakes was there to snap up
the ball and go over half way out. The conversion failed, but ‘Ensians
were ahead 5 – 0 after 3 minutes.
The visitors showed they were no pushover when they drove through the
first scrum and took the ball against the head. The pressure continued,
the hosts transgressed and Burley kicked a penalty through Tim Betts on 11
minutes to make the score 5 – 3. ‘Ensians were soon back in attack and
winger Nick Keinhorst showed his pace when he went in at the corner after
some good back play. Ben Smith came on for injured No.8, Rob Grey and
Burley continued to disrupt the home side’s attacking moves where centres
Lee O’Donnell and Tom Carroll always posed a threat.
Burley drove down to the ’Ensians line, but good tackling by the home back
row of James Holland, Ben Smith and the evergreen Richard Crossley kept
the line clear. With play fairly even, half backs Peter Gillson and John
Ratahi at last got their backs moving and good inter-passing took play
into the visitors’ 22. A good run up the touchline by Goakes saw him
tackled five yards short, but the ubiquitous James Holland was on hand to
force his way over in the corner. Again the conversion failed, but the
score was now 15 – 3 on 32 minutes. As half time approached, Rob Lyon
replaced Ross Myers at hooker.
Shortly after the break, experienced flanker Crossley suffered a leg
injury and was replaced by prop Scott Child who brought extra solidity to
the front row. Burley were still very much in the game and their centres
showed they had pace and the ability to test the defence, but O’Donnell
and Carroll were up to the task. Good interplay between forwards and backs
saw Nick Keinhorst backing up to go over near the posts for his second
which he then converted to lift the score to a more comfortable 22 – 3 to
the hosts on 56 minutes. After an injury to lock Andy Wood, Tim Rushfirth,
the last of the replacements, bravely took up the wing position and Nick
Keinhorst moved to flanker.
Burley were far from finished and their lively back division continued to
gain ground and test the home defence which held firm due to the efforts
of the back row and centres Carroll and O’Donnell. On 62 minutes, at last
quick ball found its way to centre Carroll with space in mid-field and he
sliced through in style to go over under the posts. The conversion by Nick
Keinhorst took the score to 29 – 3 on 68 minutes.
After an indifferent start in the scrums, the home front row of Tom Twist,
Rob Lyon and Phil Cook gradually settled down and looked comfortable on
their own ball. Also, the efforts of Sam Gray and Ben Smith in the lineout
meant that the ‘Ensians backs had opportunities to mount several
threatening attacks. Excellent interplay between the backs allowed fly
half John Ratahi to go over unopposed under the posts and the conversion
by Nick Keinhorst moved the score to 36 – 3 on 73 minutes. Mention must be
made of veteran scrum half Peter Gillson who stepped in at the last minute
when Tim Rushfirth took a knock in the pre-match warm-up. As usual, he
tackled like a flanker and was a constant threat with his sniping round
rucks and mauls.
As the final whistle approached, Burley used their speedy backs to put
together a good move which saw centre Craig Racrachan go over wide out for
a consolation try. The conversion failed leaving the final score at 36 –
Considering the number of changes in the home side and the use of all four
substitutes, this was a very creditable effort by ‘Ensians who managed to
keep their shape for the most part and they generally controlled things
well against lively and competent opposition.
Our 2nd XV beat Skipton 2nds 62 - 5 away in a Merit Table game and our
3rds had no match when Skipton 3rds couldn't to raise a side.