ROTHERHAM POENIX 40 – OLD OTLIENSIANS 5
With Rotherham Titans hosting Doncaster on
the main pitch, the match was played on a quagmire in a nearby park making
constructive rugby very difficult. Rotherham had a much bigger,
experienced side and they scored two converted tries on 5 and 9 minutes as
the visitors were still settling down.
Despite the treacherous surface, the ‘Ensians front row of Michael Groves,
Ross Myers and Tony Myers held their own against heavier opponents and
half backs Richard Crossley and Matt Tenniswood used long kicks to gain
ground. When the ball did go out, centres Kristian Keinhorst and Carlos
Hassan started to make headway against their opponents. On the wings, Dan
Ball and newcomer Jed Copsey did well to deal with kicks-through in the
Peter Tempest came on for injured lock Ben Newall and put in some strong
tackles alongside scrum half Richard Crossley. In the lineouts, Alan
Garnett and Sam Feathersone competed well, but ball tended to be untidy
and difficult to get away.
The well-organised Phoenix pack worked well with their back division to
score two more tries on 18 and 25 minutes taking the half time score to 26
– 0 in their favour.
In the second half, the visitors used-close passing to move forward and
centre Hassan had some good runs. At full back young Rob Lofthouse fielded
kicks confidently and made two try-saving tackles, as well as starting off
some adventurous counter-attacks.
On 48 minutes the hosts went over for another converted try, but ‘Ensians
responded with their best period of play with lock Ross Nichols and
flanker Dominic Birkin putting in some strong drives against their bigger
opponents. Crossley moved the ball from a ruck and quick hands from
Tenniswood and Hassan saw prop Tony Myers force his way over in the corner
on 64 minutes to move the score to 33 – 5 to the home side.
Stephen Lofthouse came on for the injured Nichols and joined in some
robust defence with Richard Crossley leading the way with some telling
tackles. Rob Lofthouse raced up the touchline and his kick ahead saw
speedy winger Jed Copsey just fail to beat the cover to the touchdown.
Rotherham scrambled over for another try on 72 minutes to extend their
lead to 40 – 5 and ‘Ensians battled away until the final whistle. In the
appalling conditions and fielding a much-changed side, ‘Ensians can take
credit for a very gutsy and spirited performance for the full eighty