Burn were not at their best in this match, they didn’t quite click, last week it seemed most things came off, while this week not quite so, if more passes had stuck then Burn might have got more from the game. However, Kirkby played well and took advantage and outscored Burn 3 tries to 2.
Burn started brightly and pressed Kirkby in the first 5 minutes, however the home side managed to clear their lines and following a kick chase into the Burn half, Frank Skofic was adjudged to have obstructed a Kirkby man and was shown a yellow card. It didn’t take Kirkby long to take advantage of their number supremacy as they scored their first try and conversion on 8 minutes. From a scrum in the Burn 22 Kirkby had a few drives working themselves into midfield, then the scrum half’s scampering run saw him score by the posts. Burn hit back on 14 minutes, this time Burn had a scrum in the Kirkby 22, they had a few drives through the forwards, before the ball was spread wide, as it reached George Skofic he still had plenty to do, however he first stepped inside and then stepped back the other way, along with a handoff he made his way through a gap to score out-wide. Leon Fifield’s kick hit the post. On 20 minutes Kirkby had a chance through a penalty kick to extend their lead, however the kick was missed. On 22 minutes Burn had another man in the bin as Olly Trippier reacted after being blocked by a Kirkby player. Kirkby again took advantage of Burn being down to 14, as they kicked a penalty on 24 minutes to make the score 10-5. On 28 minutes Burn came so close to a try, on half way Kirkby spilt the ball, Leon Fifield gathered the ball and kicked ahead, Frank Skofic was the quickest to react and was ahead in the foot race, as the ball bounced its way to the 5 metre line, Skofic was the first there, however he was under pressure from the retreating defenders and as he swooped to gather the ball and dive for the line the ball was knocked on. On 35 minutes Kirkby had a man sent to the bin for a high tackle, Fifield kicked the resulting penalty from 30 metres out. This saw the half time score, 10-8.
The start of the second half was not ideal for Burn as after 5 minutes Sam Gale was shown a yellow card and Kirkby kicked the resulting penalty. Kirkby then added a try on 52 minutes, from a quick tap 5 metres from the try line, Burn initially stopped the attack, however the ball was recycled and Kirkby went over in the corner. The conversion was missed. After this Burn did have some time in the Kirkby 22, however mistakes saw chances of points go missing. This allowed Kirkby to clear their lines and spend a pro-longed period in the Burn half, with Burn struggling to keep hold of the ball. Kirkby had their third try on 73 minutes as the pressure told on Burn as Kirkby created just enough space to score in the corner. The conversion was missed, however the score was 23-8. A try from Leon Fifield looked to have given Burn hope of salvaging something from the game, however as Burn took a quick drop goal for the conversion the referee blew the final whistle which seemed a little early and left the final score as 23-15.
Had Burn not been down to 14 men on 3 occasions the outcome may have been different, as Kirkby scored 18 of their 23 points when Burn were a man down. Despite not playing to what they are capable, Burn can take some heart from this match, as while Kirkby played well, they never got too far ahead of Burn, which is another encouraging indicator that Burn can compete in this league and hopefully keep clear of the relegation zone. Although they couldn’t face a much tougher test next week as unbeaten Harrogate come to Ramsgreave Drive.