Match Report: Skipton 57 - 0 Doncaster Phoenix
Phoenix's topsy turvy season took a turn for the worst on Saturday as Skipton made amends for the reversal earlier in the season with a 57-0 drubbing in Saturday's match.
Unavailability again meant several changes to the Phoenix team, with back-rowers Nick Germain and Joe Horrocks paired together in the second row. Dan Morris and Ollie Clark returned from Chez Taylor to take up positions in the back row, whilst young prop Adam Tamanis made his first senior appearance at prop after turning 18 on Friday. Further changes saw Ali Wood return at hooker, Joe Watts back at 9 and Jordan Ajimati back on the wing. Thom 'Soggy Quaver Ears' Goodchild made his 1st XV debut from the bench.
An even opening 15 minutes saw both sides test the oppositions defence - the only score a breakaway try for the Skipton winger. Unfortunately for Phoenix, a second try seemed to spark Skipton into life whilst the Doncaster side retreated into their shells, where they remained for the rest of the match as a red tide of Skipton pressure proceeded to score 57 unanswered points - Phoenix's biggest defeat for many years.
From a Phoenix point of view, the only moment of the game which raised a smile among supporters was seeing scrum half Joe Watts well beaten in a bout of fisticuffs with his 47 year old opposite number (who even had his very own stairlift in the clubhouse). Only the help of his landlord Carey Thomas saved him from complete embarrasment.
Phoenix were well and truly beaten by the better side on the day. They put in easily their worst performance of the season whilst Skipton, by their own admission, played their best rugby of the year - a fact reflected by the reverse fixture earlier in the season which was won by Phoenix, despite both sides fielding almost the same teams.
With just 4 matches left in the year it is to be hoped that Phoenix can learn from this experience and build some momentum for the 2011/12 season