W 13 - 12
By Dave Campbell
Scarborough clinched victory by the narrowest of margins coming from behind with an injury-time try to beat Huddersfield YMCA 13-12 in a top of the table clash at Silver Royd.
With prop Nino Cutino unavailable the Seasiders started with three hookers in the front row Sam Dawson and Matty Jones propping and Ian Williams at hooker. Cade Robinson played at No8 in the absence of Ben Martin who was concussed at Cleckheaton.
In front of the biggest Silver Royd crowd so far this season Huddersfield had first use of a strong wind which was gusting downfield from the Northwest end of the ground and had the chance to take an early lead when they were awarded a penalty in the 6th minute. However centre Gavin Stead’s kick was blown way off course and the scoreboard remained blank.
YM had the better of the early set scrums but were knocked out of their stride in the loose by the destructive tackling of Scarborough’s Cade Robinson, Tom Hicks, Aaron Wilson and Sam Dawson who provided a series of turnovers to get the Seasiders onto the front foot.
And pressure on the visitors’ line in the 15th minute saw the ball won at a ruck and moved wide by a long miss-pass from fly-half Tom Ratcliffe to fullback Jimmy Perrett who scampered in at the corner for a 5-0 Scarborough lead. Ratcliffe’s conversion attempt was bang-on target but was held up just short of the posts by the capricious wind.
Stung into action the west Yorkshiremen laid siege to the Scarborough line but the home defence was resolute and unyielding and Ratcliffe lifted the siege with a long clearance to half-way. And they should have increased their lead in the 21st minute when they whipped the ball wide right in the YM twenty-two and wing Jonty Holloway won the race to chase a chip through and touchdown in the corner. However young referee Adam Robson judged the Scarborough wing to have lost the race and his effort was disallowed.
And the visitors took advantage of their good fortune to take the lead two minutes later; Scarborough skipper Matty Jones was sin-binned and they choose a scrum at the resulting penalty. They drove the home eight over their line, a Scarborough forwarded dived into the scrum and Mr Robson awarded a penalty try for a 7-5 Huddersfield YMCA lead.
With veteran prop Tom Fish on for Jones, Scarborough turned the screw in what was left of the second quarter spending long periods in the visitors half. They could have scored in the 32nd minute when YM scrum-half Josh Bradley stopped a try with an illegal high-tackle. He was ‘rewarded’ with a yellow card. The half ended with the visitors camped on the home line but the Scarborough defence held fast and they trailed only 5-7 at the break.
The third quarter was scoreless but nonetheless absorbing as the combatants slugged it out with no quarter given or asked; and defences held sway in the cold, windy conditions. The deadlock was broken in the 63rd minute when Scarborough was awarded a penalty and Ratcliffe slotted a powerful kick from 37metres into the wind to nudge his side 8-7 ahead.
Scarborough continued to play their slick handling rugby style with breaks from Ratcliffe, Perrett, the ever-alert Jordi Wakeham and Billy Parker now on at centre. And they did have a chance to stretch their lead in the 72nd minute when Huddersfield infringed between their ten and 22 metre lines. However it was never a day for kicking and a late gust of wind pulled the big number ten’s kick wide and the score remained at 8-7.
However the deadlock was broken in the 76th minute as Huddersfield inside-centre Gavin Stead danced down the left touchline evading several tackles to send outside centre Tomas V. Rooyan in to snatch the lead back at 12-8. Stead failed to convert but the Scarborough faithful were stunned.
Scarborough are a side full of confidence who have the winning habit and heads never went down; they set up camp in the visitors territory and looking for a winning score they drove to the Huddersfield line. From a five metre scrum Wakeham threw a first phase pass to Perrett who motored for the line but was held up; the ball was re-cycled infield for Jones to plough towards the whitewash. He was tackled short and from the ensuing ruck Wakeham picked out Cane Robinson on the blindside who steamrollered through two defenders to touchdown in the third minute of injury-time with the last play of the game. The conversion was missed but the celebrations had already started.
In truth either side could have won this game and there would have been no complaint but a performance full of belief, skill and bristling intent from Simon Smith’s men gave them the edge. Their defence was to use a much overused word, awesome with all 18 bodies on the line in a hard-fought contest. The pack performance around the paddock was outstanding with Dawson, Tom Hicks, the Govier Brothers and Cade Robinson outstanding. Scrum-hall Jordi Wakeham was buzzing for the whole 83 minutes and the backs, which have run in tries for fun this season, put in a massive defensive effort. And don’t forget Huddersfield YMCA they contributed to what was a fine advertisement for rugby at level six.
Tries: perrett, robinson
Tries: tomas v. rooyan, penalty try
Scarborough: perrett smith young wilson holloway ratcliffe wakeham dawson williams jones (capt) brown hicks e. govier d. govier robinson Substitutes: tom fish joe marshall billy parker (all used)
Scarborough News "Man of the Match": sam dawson
There were many contenders but playing out of position Sam’s contribution to set plays and his aggressive but fair attitude in attack and defence saw him get the accolade this week.