Harrogate Pythons RUFC 1st XV 25 – 18 Wath Upon Dearne RUFC
Match Report & Pictures – Julian Tatlow.
Harrogate Pythons entertained league hopefuls Wath Upon Dearne for their first ever league meeting. Wath had possession for the first phases of the game but were held by some determined tackling from the Python’s defensive line. A crunching tackle from Hugh Tatlow and the ball is spilled forwards . The Pythons were quick into their phased play following some harsh defence with Tim Evans and Sam Beagrie gaining valuable yards. Calum Brock dominates the line outs and Wath fail to clear their lines. Jack Hall and Nathan Wake carry the ball back into the Wath 22, Beagrie makes space on the wing to pass inside to James Audsley-Beck who is tackled without the ball with the line beckoning. That earned the Wath player a yellow card and The Pythons a penalty try, 7-0 10 mins.
The visitors responded quickly with a penalty, 7-3 and just as quickly Jed Carr slots an off side penalty over 10-3, 20 mins.
Brock steals a line out ball gains 15 yards and feeds Carr who makes a superb 40m kick pass on half to Bailey Bromberg who sp ins and steps his way through the defence sprinting to touch down next to the posts, Carr with the extras 17-3 on 25 mins. Wath began a 10 minute spell of pressure. Dominant in the scrums, a rarity for The Pythons, they opted to scrum penalty offenses and threatened The Pythons line. With inches to go the scrum half steps the defence and touches down, 17-10 on 30 mins.
Some clear words from Captain Will Butler and the home side get back to what they’re good at. Brock dominates the line out, Jordan Payne and Jack Hall recycle clean ball but the half time whistle halts the attack.
Sam Considine comes on at half time and immediately gains 50m with his outstanding pace. A Python’s scrum on the Wath 22m line and replacement prop George Booth earns a penalty, Carr bisects the posts, 20-10 on 60 mins. As before Wath respond quickly with a penalty, 20-13. With the light fading Marcus Fotherby becomes the line out target for the heavily minded Brock, he gains 15 yards before feeding the ever present Hall through the back’s hands to Beagrie and Considine and inside to Bromberg to accelerate over the line for his second, 25-13 on 70 mins.
Once again Wath were quickly back into it and after several minutes of pressure on The Pythons’ line drive over a set scrum for the number 8 to dot down, 25-18 on 75 mins.
The Python’s dominated the remaining time generating clear opportunities for the bonus point try but were denied by some unforced errors. Full time. Whittaker’s Gin MOM went to Bailey Bromberg for his 2 tries but also some outstanding defence.
”What a difference one level makes, in Counties 3 our scrum rarely took a step backwards. Although we competed well dominating scrums is no longer a given. We had our chances in the last quarter and missed out on the bp.” Coach Bird commented after the game, “We’ll get rid of those errors on the training field”, he added.