Rugby on Ice: The Musical
By Billy Marsh
Christmas cracker in arctic conditions
Had it been any other fixture, it’s likely the game wouldn’t have gone ahead. The ground was crunchy at best and the mercury was frozen but when you’ve got somewhere in the region of 40 lads wanting one last run out, the show had to go on.
Leos opted to receive (quiet at the back) and Hunters showed their mettle early with a double-team tackle felling and winding the warm blooded captain. Quick recycling however split the hunters allowing Elliot Wright to twinkle his way beneath the posts for some early points.
Another short kick off gave Leos some front foot ball, Dave Harrison making some hard yards before Chris Little decided to boss the ball around a bit more and let it sing out wide. Quick hands and a break from cider king Robbie Scrambler saw a deft offload to Matt Ireton who went unchallenged for his first (of four) try of the day.
Given the conditions, the forwards kept relatively warm with scrum after scrum, some truly shocking handling for both sides ensured the backs needed an extra long shower. Hunters gained some ascendency in the tight but some of Leos wilier foxes were able to nullify the advantage through some exceptional displays of the dark arts. Rugby, like a cat, can be skinned in many ways.
Another try from Matt bolstered Leos lead as the pitch slowly froze more; handling worsened and the ball skidded across the turf but both sides were still happy to continue.
Front foot ball at the scrum provided the platform for Tom Tweddle to cut a delicious line, dotting down for a five pointer. With the score line smiling heavily on Leos, the subs bench started to get some action, a few lads defrosted, others wrapped up and hoped for the best.
Before long, Tom Bindloss made his way across the whitewash with some play along the back. Matt added another which signalled the end of the half.
The second half was somewhat condensed, partly due to the fading daylight and freezing conditions but also to keep the game in the right spirit. For some of the hunters it was their first time playing a game but they could certainly hold their own in the merit leagues with a bit more time.
More scrums came, allowing the front rows to become well acquainted; only a handful of phases actually materialised until the next one. Nothing wrong with a nice, big cuddle.
Matt broke loose at halfway for his 4th and final try which seemed to awaken something in the hunters. Some solid phases saw them gain territory and before long they were sniffing at the Leos line. A fumbled lineout by honorary hunter Kenny Parsons saw hunters strike, scoring a very well deserved try.
Having just returned to the fold, Adam Ketteringham called it a day for what turned out to be the last 5 minutes. A solid return from the sorely missed loosehead.
A break from Guy James down the flank opened the hunters defence, an offload then saw Billy Marsh weave towards the line and score the last try of the game. A poorly taken conversion saw the whistle blown and an end to proceedings.
Warmed up by port, both sides made sure the game happened and Matt Dallingwater deserves a mention for filling in at centre for Hunters in the first half and Nick Burdon in the second half.
Good news came across the wire, the 1s had just nailed a 5th consecutive win and a second nilling, they sit precariously perched at 4th in Yorkshire Two now, nosebleeds all round!
With the festive break now in full swing, the 3s are scheduled to be back in action on the 12th January. Until then, a merry Christmas to all, its a great time to be a Leo!