Artificial pitch - Real team performance
The teams faced each other twice in 8 days, with the Bulldogs doing the double over the Marlins
A fast paced game in the heat saw Bulldogs Under 14s overwhelm a tenacious Milford side.
Last week we saw a match that could have gone either way based on a few minutes play after half-time. This week was a different match - at half time we all felt that the Bulldogs had the game sewn up. And that was because of some great defending, some useful passing and inspired runs from individuals that spotted breaks in defensive lines.
The Marlins knew they had the advantage of knowing the bounce on the their artificial pitch, so the kick off was short, the bounce was high and they quickly recovered the ball. Then just one movement later they were off ! Running half the pitch their Number 6 ran the ball over to make it 4 nil to the Marlins after less than 2 minutes. The conversion from in front of the sticks was made to look easy and that made it 6-0.
Gulp...the Wetherby visiting parents and family members wondered if this was going to be one of those days!
George put those fears to rest 3 minutes later, Callum fed the ball out to Tom Fl, a quick push out to George and he broke through the Marlin line and ran it over for the T R Y ! Tom Fl successfully kicked his first of many and that made the teams equal...6 all
Billy D made a welcome return after what seemed like months out with a broken wrist. He made a real difference, and feeding the ball out to Elliot he ran the ball a good 30 metres to the corner to make it 10-6.
In a see-saw first 15 minutes of the match the next try went to the Marlins as their number 4 picked up a fumbled ball to take it 10 all
I wish I was a professional reporter...then I wouldn't have been caught messing with my camera settings instead of watching the game. I looked up from my camera and all I saw was Tom R running over the line. Tom if you're reading this then put the description of the try in the comments below !!! and sorry for missing how you got it, I promise I'll pay attention next time ! Haha
So 14-10 and after 5 minutes where the ball passed from team to team 3 times another try came up with a great solo run from George..down the wing, huffing and puffing as he steam rolled past the Wetherby fans - right into the corner to bring up 18-10. Tom Fl was close but it just went wide and it stayed 18-10.
There was some controversy as Wetherby won the ball after the ref judged one of the Marlins to have carried it into touch. The Marlins coach was furious - sure that the ball hadn't crossed the line. To be fair to the Marlin players they didn't let the decision beat them down and they kept their heads up. The Milford coach took a good while to get over the injustice he saw, but back in the clubhouse later his professionalism shone through as he thanked both teams for a fair game, hard fought.
But before the clubhouse there are more tries to report...
Tom Fl converted the next one, a confident blast through the middle of the post to add two points to Jonny A's run as he broke through the Marlins line. It was now 24-10 and that score gave the Bulldogs confidence to pass and run at the Marlins harder, faster and stronger than the first half. So the trys came in thick and fast.
Next score came from Jonny again as he got the ball from Isaac. Isaac ran all day, sometimes like a tree trunk that the Marlins couldn't chop down ! He just kept lifting those legs and powering forward...at one point with 5 Marlins wrapped around him. A great effort....and again Tom Fl converted Making it 30-10
The Marlins proved they weren't just sitting back and after 4 good passes they ran the ball over and kicked to make it 30-16
More running and breaking of the line and constant pushing helped the Bulldogs to a well fought win 48-16 win
Both Jamie and Mick agreed it was a great team effort and they were both clear on one thing to focus on-next weeks match against East Leeds. As one of the players said on the way out of the clubhouse, "bring it on"