Festival of Rugby, Chester Rugby Club 22/04/18
In a season which has seen our lads move from the relative safety of Touch Rugby the event provided an opportunity to demonstrate how far the team have adapted to the rigours of tackling against some quality opposition under Tournament rules. Nobody left disappointed.
The Group drew Helsby against the unknown quantity of Winnington Park, more established opposition of Caldy and Macclesfield, the ‘home team’ Chester Lions and following last week’s ‘league fixture’ a potentially feisty game against Congleton - Helsby were in for a tough day!
Up first, Caldy Rhinos in what would prove to be a stern test for both the lads on the field and their travelling support! At 4-3 up in the last minute, Helsby ran in a much needed try to create clear distance between the 2 teams. A winning start.
Winnington Park Wolves were dispatched with relative ease as the newcomers struggled to get to grips with the robust tackling Helsby pride themselves on. Teamwork comes in many forms and certainly when it comes to tackling it is a common sight to see lads helping each other out to take down their opponents in two’s and three’s.
Having scouted previous matches involving Chester Lions and Macclesfield Tigers it was anticipated that these games would be where the competition would be won or lost. Both teams well organised, disciplined and with their own attacking threat.
Helsby rose to the challenge. Steely tackles decimated the home team’s spirit as the Lions were handed a rare defeat in their own back yard. Macclesfield were treated to a similar performance and despite some frustrating decisions from the referee a barrage of trys tamed the stunned Tigers.
Last match, and the opportunity to walk away as Champions. Only Congleton could prevent a clean sweep of 5 wins.
Whether last weeks matches against Congleton ‘Grizzly Bears’ added to the potential fireworks for the lads or whether it was just the prospect of winning a tournament undefeated, something inspired the team to stick in a euphoric performance. The quote “if it was a boxing match, the referee would have stopped it” was written for games like this. In a short 10 minute game, Helsby were rampant, humiliating the opposition by running in 6 scores to Congletons 1.
Cue on field celebrations, a taste of success after a hard season. Each player did their bit across all 5 games, nobody shirked a tackle and they all either assisted or scored trys which contributed to the Team winning, and winning in style.