Harrogate Pythons RUFC 1st XV 53 vs. Wibsey RUFC 0
Another bonus point win secures The Pythons second place in Yorkshire 3. Although second from bottom of the league, Wibsey’s last outing saw them thrash Knottingley 31-0 and 2 weeks before losing narrowly to promotion contenders Bramley Phoenix 13-18. Dan Bird’s men needed to be alert from the start on a cold windy day at The Jim Saynor Ground.
Wibsey kicked off and Nino Cutino was quick to show the determination of The Pythons runners. With support from fellow prop Nathan Wake and quick hands through the backs The home side were camped on the visitor’s 22m line. A knock on at the breakdown and Wibsey feed the scrum only to be driven backwards by the dominant home pack. Cutino and Wake take control and drive the pack over the line. Hugh Tatlow touches down at number 8. 0-5 on 5 mins.
Jordan Payne returns the kick off feeding Scott Irvine who carries to half way. Jed Carr kicks towards the corner with the ball bouncing off the corner flag and keeping in goal. Wibsey touch down for the goal line drop out. Carr returns this time with support from Irvine. A scrum on 5m in front of the posts and Tatlow dots down from number 8. Clough adds the extras, 0-12,13 mins.
Carr’s next attempt to hit touch close the line is successful. Tatlow steals the line out and drives over from 10m for his hat trick. 0-17 on 18mins.
Wibsey begin a kicking game in an attempt to move into Python’s territory. A quick line out from ever alert Harry Parrish finds Carr who feeds Max Sharp to carry to half way and feed Sam Beagrie who outpaces the defence and scores under the posts. Clough adds the extras, 0-24 on 21 mins.
The next phases are controlled by the home side with Marcus Fotherby running some great lines. Frustration sets in and a high tackle results in a yellow card for Wibsey. Clough drills the ball to the away 5m line. Jon Pickard secures the ball, Clough feeds Carr and Beagrie, from the opposite wing, pops up in the centre to score his second. 0-29 on 28 mins.
Irvine returns the kick off to half way. Tatlow picks up the ball from the ruck, breaks through the Wibsey defence and steps the full back to score under the posts. Clough adds the extras, 0-36 on 31 mins.
A knock on from the kick off gives the visitors rare possession in The Python’s half. Defence becomes the game for the home side. Matt Leach and Sandy Dunlop set the example with some hard tackles halting The Wibsey advance. Frustration is inevitable and Wibsey receive a yellow card. Clough sends the ball into touch deep into The Wibsey half. Secure line out ball again and the phases begin moving forward. Andy MacKay threads an inch prefect kick through the crowded defence for Beagrie to speed on to and touch down for his hat trick. 0-41, half time
Parrish runs a perfect line and returns the kick off back into The Wibsey 22. Wibsey clear their lines to half way and begin their own attack through phases. Calum Brock, Pickard and Wake didn’t take a step backwards forcing a knock on from the away team. The Pythons front row were so dominant the away team needed to call for uncontested scrums. Wibsey were back on defence with Joe Bentham working well with Brock. MacKay feeds Tatlow who breaks the defence once again to feed Max Sharp who rounds the full back to score under the posts. 0-48 on 45 mins.
Both sides needed to defend for the next 15 minutes with possession changing through knock ons. Once again frustration in the tackle and the second yellow card to the same player sees Wibsey reduced to 14 players. A breakdown on the Wibsey 22 following a determined carry by Brock sees Cutino wrestle the ball clear and speed towards the line from 20m. A classic dive and he scores, 0-53 full time.
“Wibsey have always been a tough side”, said Head Coach Dan Bird. “We knew we’d need to work hard. Uncontested scrums in the second half took away some of our advantage. We use our dominance up front to drain the opposition’s energy which leads to defensive gaps. We kept a clean sheet and I was pleased to see the ball move so well in hands even in these bad conditions. Looking forward to Ossett next week”, he added.