With a solid 16 we belatedly orienteered ourselves to the picturesque ' race course' pitch, catching a quick glimpse of Gary warming up as we passed the first xv pitch..which was a nice treat. The pitch was in excellent condition and looked set up for the running rugby we have enjoyed winning games witb so far this year! This wasn't to be the case for this game it transpired, with most of the play being limited in phases and rarely reaching the width of the pitch.
It was an even game in terms of possession with us struggling in the set piece..lineout and scrummaging alike which limited our fluidity and ability to build. Credit to the hard working and heavy Durham pack in this area however this should serve as a good lesson for our young forwards to boot. Despite our scrum being scrappy at best, the wheel proved a good platform for Carl Miller, at 8, to pick up and use those 'gypsy nigtmare' monkey hands to fend of the oncoming back row and go over for two good scores. After some excellent performances over the last few games a first team call up could be on the cards.
Durham broke the length of the field from a mistake in defence in the home 22 and despite a last gasp tackle from young James Allott..they would eventually score. As the tackle was made and a ruck set up, a frustrated Miller came from the side and kicked the ball straight to touch resulting in a penalty and a yellow card. With this type of behaviour a call up to the first team looks very unlikely. Durham scored a catch and drive from the kick to the corner and scored a replica 7 minutes later.
We replied with a try by stand in fly half Matty Siddle who keeps on improving and is game as pie in defence..putting his full 4 ft and 8 stone to full use time after time. I think Roo is beginning to feel hobbit breath on his collar!
Some good individual moments where the highlights from the game; young bob Leighton making good ground on a regular basis and some slick handling by Jimmy tyres whom also bagged our BP try towards the end after a good period of possession. Cam mould making more metres than any of our actual wingers did all day in one majestic run towards the end. The two props were also good in the loose..Mike Flower and the ever improving Johnny Hunter.
Overall it was a game won ugly and way below the standard we have been playing at and now expect, certainly not a great performance and not a team performance in attack but cohesive in defence and a desire to win which is so good to see. Well done lads. Carlo
Special mention to Kyle JLS Jamieson whom returned successfully ish for the first time following a naughty knee injury and surgery last year..nice to have him back from the dance culture of the North West and hopefully his eyes will become focused in around 2-3 weeks time.
Final score 26-19
Ref: Ray Sutherland 8.7/10
Manager Sid: 10/10 ( I know!!!!!)
Coach: 10/10 tactically astute
Food: Tuna/corned beef pasta bake and garlic bread 6.8/10 tasty but issues with constancy