SARRIES 29 – 10 SANDBACH 2nds: report by Rupert Cobain
For the 1st game of 2018, the Sarries welcomed 2nd in the league Sandbach to The Woodlands. The Sarries showed in their last game of 2017 against Blackburn that they are a match for any side in the division and they were licking their lips at the prospect of a top of the league scalp
Captain for the day Jamie Griffin won the toss and Sandbach would be playing into the sun. The Sarries set the tempo straight from the off, showing that they were going to be physical upfront with some flair in the back line. Powerful carries by Karl Capstick, Harry Atkinson and Max Eaves put them in great positions to score but they were unable to finish.
It took 10 minutes before the 1st points were on the board. After great work by the forwards moving the Sarries into the Sandbach 22m, scrum half Ryan Evans decided to have a dart from the back of a ruck, and he kept darting his way around the Sandbach defence and scoring in the corner. Dan Jones missed the conversion 5-0.
The 2nd try for the Sarries quickly followed with Karl Capstick smashing his way over the line following again a strong platform set by the forwards. Dan Jones missed he conversion attempt 10-0.
The Sarries continued to apply pressure but were unable to convert their opportunities and this allowed Sandbach to find a way back into the game. With Luke Clitheroe having already been sent to the stands for a 10 minute timeout by the referee, the war horse Rick Frith quickly followed for handling on the floor – Frithy’s face of pure shock “me sir, surely not”. With only 13 men on the field, the Sarries defence showed great resilience on their own line but unfortunately, they were unable to keep out Sandbach and they scored underneath the post on the stroke of half time. From the resulting conversion attempt, Sam Fisher was able to block and keep the score at 10-5.
Discipline was the word of the day during the half time team talk and penalties must be kept at a minimum.
The beginning of the 2nd half went much of the way of the 1st half with Sarries carrying strong in the forwards with Jamie Griffin and Luke Clitheroe, and hard hitting tackles in defence by Karl Etherington. The 3rd try came following a break by utility forward come winger Tom Hodgkins who made a break into midfield, Gav Kelly then punched through the Sandbach defence. This set up a platform for Karl Etherington to smash through from the 22, swatting off a couple of Sandbach defenders as he scored by the posts. The Iceberg Moffat was able to convert 17-5.
Along with the forwards, the Fylde backline applied pressure to the Sandbach backs all day, not allowing them to move it down the line and this showed when Sam Fisher was able to charge down a kick attempt from the fly half, he was then able to collect the ball and sprint half the pitch and score underneath the posts. Iceberg converting again 24-5.
With the clock winding down, the Sarries took the foot of the gas and allowed Sandbach to get another score in the corner. 24-10
The Sarries wanted to have the last word of the day and they marched themselves down to the Sandbach 5m line. A few players got white line fever wanting to get on the score sheet, Gav Kelly, Jamie Griffin and Mark Capstick having attempts thwarted. This set up an NFL style 4th and Goal, so bring in the big running back, Karl Etherington, and he was able to dive over and get his 2nd try of the day. The Iceberg was unlucky with the conversion attempt hitting the post.
Final Score 29-10.
This was an excellent performance and first win of 2018, and against a team sitting 2nd in the table. The whole team battled for the shirt. Each Sarrie put in a huge shift in from hard hitting carries by Harry Atkinson and Dan Jones, excellent lose play by Mark Capstick and Jimmy Lord, concluding with excellent defence tackles by Gav Kelly and Adam Hiles.
DoD – The trophy this week goes to Captain for the day Jamie Griffin for not knowing how to maul and for having his own team mate hit him because of this!
1. Richard Frith 2. Rupert Cobain 3. Harry Atkinson 4. Mark Capstick 5. Karl Capstick 6. Adam Hiles 7. Luke Clitheroe 8. Jamie Griffin 9. Ryan Evans 10. Sam Fisher 11. Tom Hodgkins 12. Karl Etherington 13. Gavin Kelly 14. Max Eaves 15. Daniel Jones 16. Jimmy Lord 17. Tristan Assad 18. Iceberg Alex Moffat.