Coach’s Talk – A Report from Steve Hazzelby

Last Saturday we were at home to old Yorkshire rivals Wharfedale. We had taken the points earlier in the season at their ground but we knew that this would be a hard game especially after the disappointment of the previous Saturday.

It was a special day for winger Jamie Harrison in his 200th game for the club, a wonderful achievement in the national leagues.

We started the game strongly keeping possession and putting good pressure on Wharfedale’s defence. However, we gave 3 penalties away in the space of 5 minutes and it was the visitors who scored first, after a missed tackle in the centre of the field. 0-7 down after 6 minutes.

Early exchanges were scrappy with both teams making basic errors and squandering good opportunities. Despite these errors. we got back in the game with a well-executed try for winger Jamie Harrison after lovely handling by the backs.

Our second try quickly followed after Jamie collected a high kick, broke infield to feed centre Oli Glasse who in turn passed to Andy Riley who off loaded to scrum half Danny Openshaw who touched down under the posts. Steve Collins added the conversion and we now ahead 12-7.

Unfortunately, we lost tight head prop Ben Black, with a hamstring strain and this enabled Wharfedale to exert a lot of pressure on our scrum from which we got penalised and gave Wharfedale possession and territory.

A penalty deep in our 22 followed by a forward drive saw Wharfedale score wide out on the left. The conversion from the touch line saw the visitors go into half time 14-12 in the lead with their tails up.

We were playing down the hill in the second half and put a lot of pressure on the visitors with good shape in attack, varying play to both sides of the field and it was hooker Matt Gallagher who gave us our 3rd score wide out on the left, after a quick tap penalty from Danny Openshaw. Steve added the conversion and we were now back in the lead 19-14.

Wharfedale, to their credit, kept pushing us back into our half after, we gave away a number of penalties, and a good line break in midfield saw them score their third try. This was followed by a penalty shortly after and they were now back in the lead 19-22.

The game was finely balanced at this point and a lovely penalty from Steve Collins saw us level the scores 22-22 going into the last ten minutes. Wharfedale went ahead, again, 25-22 with a penalty in the 74th minute and an upset looked on the cards for the Tigers.

However, such is the spirit and determination of this group of players that we snatched victory in the 82nd minute, with a second converted try for hooker Matt Gallagher, after a wonderful team effort. A 29-25 five-point victory and back to second in the league.

This Saturday we are at home, again, against Sheffield Tigers and we know that a better performance is needed if we are to take the points. This is a special charity day for SicKids, so please come and give your support both on and off the field.

Cheers, Hazz