Rotherham Phoenix 0 – 27 Hallamshire RUFC
By Llywelyn Lee
Hallamshire start the season with a hard-earned win
The Red and Black of Hallamshire began this season’s campaign with an away game at Rotherham Phoenix at Herringthorpe Playing fields. The team going into the game had been through rigorous pre-season fitness work at the hands of Coaches Heggarty and Fogg and were looking fresh. A strong bench of new and returning faces ready to finish the game if needed. Hallamshire’s captain elect Cramphorn leading the team.
Play got underway with Hallamshire receiving the kick off from Rotherham, the first exchanges were a statement for the rest of the game with Hallamshire probing and battering their way into the opposition half. Teddy Coombes (sponsored by Value Adding) bossing the backs into shape and linking well with centres Berkis and Brown. Hallamshire moved the ball across the field well and an early chance from a cross field kick for wing Hasnip (Value Adding) was denied by some brave tackling from the Rotherham full back. It was only 10 minutes in though before Hallamshire broke the deadlock with Prop Rhys Shipley
powering over in the maul for the try. The conversion from out wide was missed.
Hallamshire again gathered the restart and made inroads to the Rotherham half, a spilt ball however was pounced on by the home side and the winger broke for the try line. However his inexperience led to him running the ball over the dead ball line and gave Hallamshire a let off. Hallamshire went on the attack again and a ball played off the floor bounced behind centre Brown who gathered it in one hand behind him before powering over for the second try of the day, Coombes came close but couldn’t dial the conversion in. Hallamshire lead 10-0. After some solid scrummaging work Rotherham again got ball in hand but managed to concede a penalty on Hallamshire’s try line. The men in red and black taking the initiative with wing Hasnip battering through the opposition line to score. 15-0
Flanker Lee then had to leave the field with an ankle injury and was replaced by L. Wilson. Who immediately brought his own brutish style to the game. Hallamshire very much on the front foot then lost second row Macgrego with an injury introducing Hopkinson to the fray. The selection committee’s game plan going out of the window.
Half time brought a chance for Hallamshire to reflect on the solid nature of their game and the liquid nature of Coombes’ growing blisters. Alex Brown
went on at prop with Sam Rigby
(Ashoka 1967) making way. Coach ‘Teach’ Helliwell imporing more of the same and bolstered by prop Z.Wilson’s words.
The second half began the same way as the first, Hallamshire dominating the ball in hand and now making set pieces hard on Rotherham. Alex Brown
storming in his first game at prop and letting his opposite number know he was there. After a concerted effort and some missed chances on the wing the next try came through Hopkinson, with cries from sideline of ‘unbelievable Jeff’ as he powered through. Rotherham’s heads were down and Hallamshire were looking the stronger more disciplined team. Every attack looked dangerous but after some concerted forward pressure it was Liam Wilson
who ignored the overlap and crashed over for the fifth and final try of the day. Coombes managed to dial his kicking in and converted making the score 27- 0 to the red and black. The game played out with some solid Hallamshire scrums with Rigby (Ashoka 1967) making a nuisance of himself at hooker and Hopkinson switching to 8 as Hallamshire stalwart Dan Hickey
left the field with a dead leg.
The whistle blew, the boys shook hands. A great start to the season. On to Thorne next week…