The King is dead! Long live the King!

By Chris harrison - November 27 2011
The King is dead! Long live the King!
Micky Robson And so it begins. The Bucks found themselves at the end of a run and the beginning of another. Wests 3rd string travelled across Teesside to begin the first of 3 tough away fixtures in the Tees Merit League.

Acklam was the first of such ventures as the Bucks, top of the league, found themselves against the host clubs 2nd Team, sitting in 2nd place.

A strong diagonal wind made Acklams turbine disconcertingly noisy. The visitors chose to play into the wind in the 1st half.

The elements were a big factor and it seemed to cramp Wests style in the first few minutes with play being somewhat scrappy.

On 6mins the Bucks put some back play together and a ruck out wide allowed back row Jay Corbett to pick up, bosh through and race over from 25m.(0-5).

Corbett goes over

West continued on the ascendancy for the next 20mins but they were unable to score.

And, as luck would have it, Acklam showed them the way, as, with their first concerted attack they scored. They put together some 10 phases of driving, rucking play to go over under the posts with an excellent converted try.(7-5).

West now lost 2nd row Powell with winger Foster coming off the bench to add his bulk to the forwards.

The Bucks came back and, as a little anger came into their play, they produced a series of driving, aggressive rucks which allowed that man Corbett to pick up some 2m from the line, ride a tackle, and reach over to dot down. Mallinson converted.

HT 7-12.

With the wind at their backs the Bucks could have made the game more comfortable, but why would they want to do that? For the first 12mins of the 2nd period they were on the back foot and defending doggedly. Then a turnover ball, a hoof downfield and Matty Tyers was bearing down on the ball. A bit of nifty footwork (Jimmy reckons its his coaching) and the young winger won the race to the touchdown. Mallinson converted.(7-19).

The Bucks now lost their other 2nd row, Robson, with another winger, Nige Bulmer, coming on in his place.

25mins into the 2nd period Acklam clawed a penalty back as their attacking play brought them some reward.(10-19).

The final few minutes went too and fro before West won a penalty under the posts which Mallinson knocked over.(10-22).

The Bucks never hit the heights of which they are capable, over eagerness, poor decision making and a reluctance to be nasty meant that the game was in the balance for long periods. Acklam, to be fair, were worthy opponents and had a solid game plan but often failed to take advantage of their chances.

The Bucks travel with the 1st XV next week toMowdenPark for another tough away fixture.

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