KNARESBROUGH 14 vs OLD OTLIENSIANS 61
more photos here!
On a hot afternoon with two props and a young fly half making their
debuts, ‘Ensians got off to a flying start with half backs Rob Lofthouse
and Tobias Gill setting their backs in motion at every opportunity. The
hosts had no answer to the pace of the visitors’ three quarters with three
tries coming in the first half and then six more after the break. When the
score climbed to 54 – 0, ‘Ensians took the foot off the gas and allowed
the home side to run in two tries in the last 15 minutes.
After a struggle for clean possession the previous week, the strengthened
front row of Greg Jones, Ross Myers and Ben Copley provided a serious
challenge to the much heavier Knaresborough pack, as well as excelling in
the loose. Good backing up and re-cycling saw flanker Sam Featherstone
dive over on 7 minutes and rampaging No.8 Rob Arbuckle followed up with
another on 12 minutes, with one conversion by experienced full back Will
Prop Ben Copley showed off his handling and carrying skills and
replacement flanker Simon Hill made some powerful drives. A good break by
centre Johnny Ratahi sent fellow centre Luke Cowdell bursting up the
middle for the third try and Foster’s conversion took the visitors’ lead
to 19 – 0 at half time.
With the heavier home pack tiring, the visiting backs showed pace and good
support play to run in two more tries by winger Declan Jackson and a third
by scrum half Rob Lofthouse, who was a constant thorn in the hosts’ side
with his sniping breaks round the scrums. All were converted by Foster to
stretch the lead to 40 – 0 on 50 minutes.
The home side’s main attacking ploy was the rolling maul, but after
gaining some ground in their early attempts, the visiting pack then
responded well with Rob Arbuckle, Simon Hill, props Jones and Copley and
replacement hooker Rob Lyon bringing things to a halt. Several
Knaresborough re-starts were caught by prop and former scrum half Ben
Copley who spun out long passes to put the visiting backs away. In the
lineouts locks Steve Wade, Ali Campbell and flanker Feathersone competed
well against taller opposition to provide good ball for their lively back
Prop Ben Copley rounded off a fine display with a try on 55 minutes and
Simon Hill went over on 62 minutes to stretch the visitors’ lead to 54 – 0
with the trusty boot of Will Foster adding the conversions. At this stage,
play became scrappy as the hosts stepped up their efforts and managed to
get the two or three competent players in their back division into the
game. Bad marking gifted them a converted try on 67 minutes, but ‘Ensians
responding with a sweeping move to set up centre Luke Cowdell for his
second on 74 minutes. The home side had the final say with a well-worked
try on 77 minutes to take the final score to 61 – 14 to the visitors.
This was a fine all-round performance by ‘Ensians based on a solid effort
from the pack and some enterprising play by their young back division.
Tobias Gill made a sound debut at fly half and, in the post-game
get-together, newcomer Ben Copley, who had impressed throughout, was
rightly nominated as man-of-the-match and applauded by both teams.
The 2nd XV had a good 33 – 14 away win against Leodiensians 3rds. Scorers
were: tries - Luke Freer, Das Cooley, Ben Smith and two tries and four
conversions from Matt Tenniswood,