Otley 14 Sedgley Park 7

By Oscar the Otter - November 30 2008
Otley 14 Sedgley Park 7 Otley followed up last weekend's Roses triumph with another victory at home to the Lancastrians (and a few South Africans) from Sedgley Park. A second half try from Steve Trethewey, three penalties from Tom Rhodes and some dogged defensive work saw Otley take another well deserved win.

With Dan Hyde in Dubai playing sevens and Kris Fullman & Danny Smith suffering injuries, Otley were forced to make 3 changes to the side which won at Manchester. England U-20s back-rower Jacob Rowan started at openside, Adam Hopcroft made his debut at tight-head prop (having joined on loan from Leeds Carnegie in midweek) and Xavier Andre took the right wing berth. Howard Parr also started in the engine room with Paul Williams swapping places and taking a place on the bench. Adam Greendale, who played for Otley a number of times last season, was also among the replacements having joined Otley on a season-long loan deal from Leeds.

Both sides made errors in the early exchanges but Tom Rhodes gave Otley a 6-0 lead after 20 minutes with two well-struck penalties after an earlier miss.

Otley dominated play for much of the first half but Sedgley Park had a purple patch just before the interval which culminated in Juan Crous barging over beneath the crossbar. Phil Jones converted from in front of the posts after failing to land a simple penalty chance just a few minutes earlier.

Importantly Otley went in at the break with a 9-7 lead when Rhodes converted a penalty from 40 metres out with the last touch of the first half.

Strong defensive efforts by both sides continued to be the main feature of the match in the second half but the visitors rearguard was eventually breached on 60 minutes when replacement prop Steve Trethewey rolled in a tackle near to the line to crash over to bring cheers from the Otley faithful. Rhodes hit the upright with the conversion but Otley led 14-7.

Sedgley enjoyed another good spell in the final quarter but Jones missed with a second straightforward penalty attempt. Otley however were in no mood to share the spoils and tackled like demons to hold onto the win.

Whilst not the greatest spectacle for the rugby purist, both Clubs should take great pride in how their players continue to give it everything they have despite the absolute farce that is the mindblowingly amateurish mid-season decision by the RFU regarding relegation.

Otley: Wackett, Andre, Buchanan (Burrell 57), Mooney (Greendale 69), Dench, Rhodes, McCormack (c), Wederell (Trethewey 57), Kay, Hopcroft, Parr (Williams 57), Denton (Craig 67), Williams, Baldwin, Rowan, McComish

Sedgley Park: Hall, Swatkins, Riley, Tafa, Wilcock, Jones, Wilkinson, Evans, Roddam, Du Plessis, Fourie, Townson, Crous (Williams 67), Newton, Jones (Woods 62)

Referee: JP Doyle (RFU)

MATCH STATISTICS

Otley 14

Tries: Trethewey

Pens: Rhodes (3)

Sedgley Park 7

Tries: Crous

Cons: Jones

Click here for photos of the match courtesy of Paul Barrett

Click here for individual league records