Fri 04
Doncaster Phoenix
1st XV
W Burden (4)
W Hodgson (2)W Smith, W Burden
S Casey (2), J Hicklin, S DepledgeW Burden (2)
W Hodgson (2)
Doncaster Phoenix RUFC  26  -  30  Sheffield RUFC

Doncaster Phoenix RUFC 26 - 30 Sheffield RUFC

By Roger Keegan
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The proverbial game of two halves as Sheffield come late to the party to steal the match and gain a valuable bonus point.

Doncaster Phoenix 26 - 30 Sheffield RUFC

Team Selection for Friday, 4th October 2019

15 Andy Hodgson
14 Nick Marshall
13 Lewis Bowman
12 George Castledine
11 Jamie Flint
10 Will Hodgson
9 Steve Depledge

1 Ben Whitney
2 Angus Hughes
3 Jake Hicklin
4 Dom Parsons
5 Joe Cooke
6 Jason Hignell
7 Tom Womack
8 Sean Casey
16 Reece Turner
17 Matt Adcock
18 Ben Parker

Sheffield went on the road again to local rivals Doncaster Phoenix for a Friday evening game on the artificial pitch under lights. Once again, second row Dave Clayden was absent and Joe Cooke was to remain in the second row. The late withdrawal of Sion Cowdy, led to a re-arrangement in the back division with Andy Hodgson moving up from the bench to full back, with centre Jamie flint moving out to the left wing and George Castledine moving into the centre, and Ben parker came back into the squad on the bench. Reece Turner came into the squad for the first time to cover for front row replacement.

Sheffield did not make an auspicious start to this match, which was both a league match and the first round of the Yorkshire Cup. Playing on the artificial pitch under lights, Doncaster Phoenix took full advantage of their knowledge of the pitch and lighting and were rapidly on the score board with try out on the left through outside centre, Will Smith and with fly-half Will Burden converting, led by 7 points to nil after just 4 minutes. Sheffield hit back quickly with a penalty just two minutes later, converted by fly-half Will Hodgson, but the lead was restored by Phoenix, again another two minutes later when Will Burden kick ed a penalty to make the score 10 points to 3 after 8 minutes.

However, Sheffield managed to get back on the score board with a second penalty after twenty-four minutes to reduce the lead to 10 points to 6. In the early stages of the match Phoenix appeared to have the upper hand at the scrum, but slowly their dominance began to wane and Sheffield were able to get back on parity. However, with the clock almost over for the half, Sheffield suffered the loss of Will Hodgson to the sin-bin for playing the scrum half at the breakdown and with Will Burden converting they went into half time with a lead of 13 points to 6.

Sheffield were caught out again just a few minutes into the second half with a penalty for hands in the ruck right in-front of the posts, which again Burden converted to move the score to 16 points to 6. Doncaster Phoenix then gained a little bit of luck when Sheffield knocked on in Phoenix’s 22-metre and they were able to break from the scrum. A speculative kick down the touch line bounced horribly, and popped in the hands of the right wing who was able to hand on to Will Burden who was able to run in free and clear under the posts. Burden converted his own try and Phoenix led by 23 points to 6 after forty-eight minutes.

The second try for Phoenix appeared to act as a wake-up call for Sheffield, and just three minutes later a break by Steve Depledge created the opportunity for backrow Sean Casey to score wide out on the left. Unfortunately, Will Hodgson’s conversion on his return from the sin-bin was wide of the mark and Phoenix led by 23 points to 11 after fifty-one minutes. Sheffield rallied again from the kick off and almost immediately saw Phoenix’s full back, Josh Winter sent to the sin-bin. Sheffield took full advantage and prop-forward Jake Hicklin was the happy recipient and scored Sheffield’s second try. Again, Hodgson could not convert the try, but the lead had been reduced to 23 points to 16 after 58 minutes.

Sheffield were now pushing hard at Phoenix’s defence and from the kick off some smart tactical kicking put Sheffield deep into Phoenix’s 22-metre. Then, when Sheffield stole Phoenix’s lineout, Steve Depledge took advantage from the driving maul to go over for the third try in the corner on the right. Suddenly, Hodgson found his kicking boots and landed the conversion to level the scores at 23 points all after sixty-two minutes. There has to be however, a twist or two in the tale. Sheffield knocked on at the restart, giving Phoenix territory and possession in-front of the posts in Sheffield’s 22-metre. A rather unnecessary penalty gave Phoenix the opportunity to go ahead again. They took the option of the kick at goal, which Burden converted to re-establish the Led a t 26 points to 23 after sixty-five minutes. Then the second twist came. Phoenix secured the ball from the kick-off, but soon managed to turn it over and somehow Sean Casey found a huge hole in the Phoenix defence to score Sheffield’s fourth try just to the right of the posts and secure a bonus point. Will Hodgson converted and Sheffield led for the first time in the match by 30 points to 26 after sixty-eight minutes. Doncaster Phoenix battled hard to save the match, but the effort was somewhat blunted when prop-forward Scott Wilson was yellow-carded with four minutes to go and Sheffield were able to clear their lines and see out the last few minutes to secure what thirty minutes earlier had seemed a very unlikely outcome.


TimeScorerType of ScoreTeamScoreScore
1st Half
4Will Smith (13)Try (1)Doncaster Phoenix5-0
4+1Will Burden (10)Conversion (1)Doncaster Phoenix7-0
6Will Hodgson (10)Penalty (1)Sheffield RUFC7-3
8Will Burden (10)Penalty (1)Doncaster Phoenix10-3
24Will Hodgson (10)Penalty (2)Sheffield RUFC10-6
27Will Burden (10)Missed PenaltyDoncaster Phoenix10-6
39Will Burden (10)Penalty (2)Doncaster Phoenix13-6
Half Time: -13-6
2nd Half
44Will Burden (10)Penalty (3)Doncaster Phoenix16-6
48Will Burden (10)Try (2)Doncaster Phoenix21-6
48+1Will Burden (10)Conversion (2)Doncaster Phoenix23-6
51Sean Casey (8)Try (1)Sheffield RUFC23-11
51+1Will Hodgson (10)Missed ConversionSheffield RUFC23-11
58Jake Hicklin (3)Try (2)Sheffield RUFC
58+1Will Hodgson (10)Missed ConversionSheffield RUFC23-16
62Steve Depledge (9)Try (3)Sheffield RUFC23-21
62+1Will Hodgson (10)Conversion (1)Sheffield RUFC23-23
65Will Burden (10)Penalty (4)Doncaster Phoenix26-23
68Sean Casey (8)Try (4)Sheffield RUFC26-28
68+1Will Hodgson (10)Conversion (2)Sheffield RUFC26-30
Full Time:-26-30

Up-coming Fixtures:-

Sat, 12-Oct-2019Kettering RFCHomeLeague3:00pm kick-off
Sat, 19-Oct-2019Newport (Salop) RFCAwayLeague3:00pm kick-off
Sat, 26-Oct-2019Nuneaton RFCAwayLeague3:00pm kick-off
Sat, 09-Nov-2019Paviors RFCAwayLeague2:15pm Kick-off
Sat, 16-Nov-2019Peterborough Lions RFCHomeLeague2:15pm Kick-off
Sat, 23-Nov-2019Sandbach RUFCAwayLeague2:15pm Kick-off

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Match details

Match date

Fri 04, Oct 2019




Midlands Premier

League position

Doncaster Phoenix