'Burn battle back in morale boosting beasting!
4 tries a piece in bruising game in the Marl Pits mud
Its been a funny old month! The absolute joy of a complete performance V Littleborough, the head scratching loss to Rochdale and the trouncing last weekend by Kendal, who knew what type/size/quality team would come to represent us today in Rossendale. We visited the Dale for the second time this season, as we were drawn against them in the cup after we had agreed "friendly" games away and at home, and, much to our credit, we came away on the day with a great cup win. Today was to be a different story however, as the home team had identified our threats, worked well on their strengths and were keen on revenge!!
The game started with our team depleted to just 12 as Arthur was delayed and Tobi went AWOL for the first 3 mins to get something from the changing rooms for the second week on the trot. (note to Toby support team - full equipment check well in advance next week) We also welcomed Harvey, playing his first ever game at prop and his first full game, who was, as you would imagine, just wondering what level of hades he had wondered into, because Rossendale were to a man (and latterly woman/granddad et al) up for this. By the time Arthur arrived, we were two tries down with excellent work on the wide spaces left by our shortage exploited by the Rossendale speedy winger, leaving Tobi of all people for dead in his wake. " No bother, " said Matt, Arthurs dad, "Arthur will get 2 back" In fairness he did, but not before Rossendale scored tries 3 and 4 to leave us somewhat in the deep, dark place.
And here is where the report gets interesting. Under the posts, under the pump, the boys, quietly, sensibly and most importantly to a man, packed in the whinging from Rochdale and Kendal, and got stuck in. Arthur managed to beat the strong midfield and wings to dot down in the corner before half time, then in the second, Rossendale were subjected to some pressure play they had put on us for the first half - they found themselves on the ground, scrabbling for wet, muddy ball, back tracking and all the time the pressure from the back line was immense. Sure enough cracks began to open, and Jacob (2) and Arthur made them pay bringing the score back to 4 tries a piece with just conversions the difference. Everyone got stuck in, not just the usual suspects but everyone, and it almost paid off.
With just a few minutes to go Rossendale again found their mojo and put on a great surge, but Burn forced them back and their brilliant speedster/wing now full back got caught in midfield and held up by the mother of all mauls. After what seemed an eternity the thing collapsed with 10 or so lads from both sides all over the lad who was clearly in a bit of pain. The Ref, who had tried his very best to make a contest of the game, had had quite enough of the game at this point, blew up for the safety of both sets of players. They then conducted themselves like the young adults you would hope them to be, cheered, tunnelled and got on with the business of the day that rugby players do, something some of the adults could have taken note of.
Days like this are incredibly character building, and note has been taken of the young men who stood up and were counted today, the camaraderie, the maturity, the support. Please remember these days much more than cups or medals or even winning games, its the game that's important, the playing, the players, your team and the opposition - trust me, they are your friends for life.