Harrogate Pythons RUFC 1st XV 49 vs. Castleford RUFC 19
Its Now 11 in a Row with Victory over Castleford . . .
The Pythons kicked off deep with the wind behind them. A poor clearance gives them a line out deep in the Castleford half. Quick ball off the top from Calum Brock and Will Clough gets Scott Irvine into the game breaking tackles and carrying into the 22. Quickly re cycled ball and Max Sharp puts James Audsley-Beck into the corner. Clough adds the extras 7-0 on 2 mins.
Castleford retain possession from the kick off but some hard tackling from Will Smith and Harry Parrish help keep the pressure contained. An infringement at the breakdown and Carr clears to the away 10m line. Hugh Tatlow wins the line out and powers over. Clough with the extras, 14-0 on 10 mins.
Castleford begin to get back into the game from the re start and show why they’re fourth in the league. Some great ball retention and passing release their winger only to be called back for a forward pass. Clough carries the ball from the scrum, feeds Carr who jinks through to 10m and then off loads to supporting Will Smith who dives over. 21-0 on 15mins.
Will Butler carries back into the Castleford half from the kick off. Adam Challis first to the breakdown picks up and carries through to the 22. The away side are penalised at the breakdown and Clough makes it 24-0 on 18mins.
Clough adds another penalty shortly afterwards 27-0 on 21 mins
Penalties against each team move play up and down the field. Castleford have the advantage on The Pythons line but the defence holds strong with Jordan Payne and Nathan Wake racking up the tackles. Irvine stripes the ball and Carr relieves the pressure with a huge kick to half way. Brock steals the line out and Carr advances his team to the 22m line. Tatlow takes the line out and breaks through the defence for his second. 37-0 on 38mins.
The Pythons are quick to get back into Castleford’s half with Steve Lennox making ground. Irvine continues the hard running setting the ball up for Clough to feed Wake who puts Will Smith in the clear to dive over for his second. 37-0 half time.
Castleford begin the second half with some determined running. Keen to use the wind they pressurise The Python’s line with some accurate kicking. But the home team’s dominance at the line out added to the defensive tackling keeping Cas at bay. Frustration followed and the referee needed to deal with some inevitable unpleasantness with a long lecture. The Pythons have an attacking scrum on the 5m line, Clough gets the ball to Irvine who is half tackled but stays on his feet to muscle over under the posts. Clough adds the extras 44-0 on 55mins.
A quickly taken penalty after re start sees Castleford break through the home defence. A perfectly floated pass to the winger and he’s in the corner. 44-5 on 60 mins.
The Pythons use a clean line out win to drive the ball downfield some 20m with Payne directing the effort. Clough opts to release the ball to Sharp, to Parrish who glides through the defence passing to Audsley-Beck who places an inch perfect kick ahead for Sharp to run onto. He converts his own try, 49-5 on 65 mins.
To their credit Castleford kept the pressure on. With 10 minutes left they played a controlled game linking phases with accurate passing and running. Quick to spot the gap the away number 8 picks up at a breakdown charging through the middle to score under the posts. 49-12 on 70 mins.
Some indiscipline in the home team defence gifts Castleford successive penalties. They work the phases with control and the outside centre carves through the defence to score in the corner. 49-19 full time.
With Barnsley having a HWO against The Medics and Bramley gaining a bonus point win at home to Skipton the top 3 positions in Yorkshire 3 remain unchanged. The Pythons travel to Halifax Vandals next week for a ‘must win’ fixture.
The Whittaker’s Gin MOTM was decided and presented by Toby Whittaker to Scott Irvine.