Luctonioans RFC 22 - 14 Sheffield RUFC
After a very long trip and very solid first forty minutes whilst playing into a howling gale, just five minutes of madness sees three opposition tries and the match gets away from Sheffield
Luctonians RFC 22 - 14 Sheffield RUFC
Team Selection for Saturday, 9th February 2019
15 Andy Hodgson
14 Rupert Broadley
13 James Flint
12 Ben Parker
11 Lewis Bowman
10 Will Hodgson
9 Steve Depledge
1 Ben Whitney
2 Michael Bradford
3 Dan Rylance
4 Dave Clayden
5 Dom Parsons
6 Jason Hignell
7 Tom Womack
8 Sean Casey
16 Joe Cooke
17 Angus Hughes
18 Ali Womack
Sheffield made the long trip to Herefordshire to Luctonians on the Welsh boarder. Sheffield remain without the services of fly half Matt Law, hooker Ianto Jones and number 8, Jonny France. Also unavailable was utility forward Tobi Ademakin. Lewis Bowman and Will Hodgson returned to the team at fly half and left wing, with Will Fairclough also dropping out of the squad.
Sheffield were to play into a fairly ferocious wind in the first half and knew that defence would be the order of the day for at least 40 minutes. Having said that Luctonians opened quite strongly and were duly rewarded after just nine minutes when their pack drove over ten metres to the right of the posts. Scrum half, Louis Silver converted and Luctonians led by 7 points to nil. Sheffield buckled down to the task and repelled all boarders, and were themselves unlucky not to get on the score sheet on a number of occasions, but in the conditions the thought of a kick at goal by Sheffield were not to be considered. Then with time almost over in the first half Lewis Bowman was yellow carded for again knocking the ball down as Luctonians moved the ball wide. Luctonians kicked to the corner and moments later were awarded another try with the pack driving over the try line. The conversion was missed, but Luctonians led by 12 points to nil with the half complete.
Over the half time break the wind had died down and all the benefit that had been Luctonians, was not to be Sheffield’s in the second half. The second half started with a series of mad moments. From the kick off, where the ball was obviously going straight out, Sheffield decided to catch it and put foot on the touch line. Luctonians won the line out and whist Sheffield dithered they went in in the left corner. Again, the conversion was missed, but Luctonians had moved the lead out to 17 points to nil with barely 42 minutes played. The situation did not improve, in fact it got decidedly worse. Sheffield kicked off, Luctonians secured the ball and proceeded to attack down the right. Full back, Andy Hodson went for the interception, but unfortunately missed it and after a number of interplays between the right wing and outside centre, the centre, Isaac Fanueli, went over in the right corner for Luctonians fourth try. The conversion was missed, but Luctonians had a very healthy lead of 22 points to nil after only 4 minutes of the second half.
With the insanity over, Sheffield battled their way back into the game, and just five minutes later were to be rewarded. Rupert Broadley carved his way through the Luctonians defence, not for the first time, and after some good work by the forwards had a second dart at the defence, but was forced in to touch, five or so metres into the Luctonians 22-metre zone. Sheffield managed to steal the line out ball and full back Andy Hodgson found a hole to run through to score wide out on the left. Steve Depledge decided his kicking would be imperious and slotted the conversion, to reduce the deficit to 22 points to 7. The battle raged and Sheffield pressured hard, but Luctonians held on. Sheffield had a number of penalties which may well have been kickable, but elected to keep kicking to the corner to try and force a further try, or two, but not until the seventieth minute did the dam break. The referee had warned Luctonians for persistent offences in the 22-metre zone, but on final warning Sheffield manufactured a second try, this time scored by fly half Will Hodgson, wide out on the left again. Steve Depledge’s kicking was again superb and the lead had been reduced to 22 points to 14, but the promised yellow card for Luctonians never materialised, and Luctonians hung on to take the spoils.
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