Rods had lost at York RI in the first game of the season and with both teams in mid table Rods were keen to avenge their previous loss.
Rods kicked of down the hill and were soon on the front foot. The forwards were winning possession and the backs were running freely. It was from this platform that Ciaran Shier slipped through the York defence, great handling down the back line left Adam Schofield sprinting over in the corner in a perfect start. It got better with the touchline conversion added by Adam Scrafton. (Rods 7 – 0 York RI).
The game then moved into an even contest for 10 minutes, both sides testing each other out and neither really getting on top. York had made their way up the field and were throwing the ball out wide at every opportunity and a clean break in centre field saw York reply with an unconverted try (Rods 7 – 5 York RI).
The score by York stirred Rods and they were soon taking control of the first half. An infringement by the York pack gave Rods a penalty opportunity and the ball was handed to Adam Scrafton. With 35m between him and the posts it was by no means an easy chance but it was converted with great precision and Rods extended the narrow lead. (Rods 10 – 5 York RI).
Rods were definitely on top now another long penalty chance had just slid past the posts from Adam Scrafton, it was Rods asking all the questions. Great forward work by age defying Ray Scrafton backed up by Captain Adam Shires set good ball for the backs. Tom Tooley delivered the ball to Ciaran Shier then to Jonny Carr who broke clear and made it to the line for Rods second try of the afternoon. Adam Scrafton converted and Rods were pulling away. (Rods 17 – 5 York RI).
From the kick-off Rods went straight back to work. Paul Illingworth, showing his many talents, made a long kick down field. Ben Schofield led the chase down, but just as Rods looked like they were going to score again, a knock on 5m out saw the opportunity missed. The half came to an end; Rods were in charge at Half time (Rods 17 – 5 York RI).
At half time Rods brought on Chris Walker and Matt Savage, the latter making his debut for the club.
York had used the half time break to regroup and they were soon testing the Rods defensive line. The defence was strong with many great tackles going in, none more so than the crunching tackle made by Marc Hullock in midfield stopping another York attack in its tracks. It was a lapse of concentration that gave York their opportunity, the break was decisive and though Jonny Carr tried he could not stop the try being scored. The conversion was missed but York were right back in it (Rods 17 – 10 York RI).
Rods needed something as the visitors were clearly applying pressure at every opportunity. The moment was to arrive as Rods had moved up field. York had the ball in defence and as they went to clear Paul Illingworth charged the ball down and won the short distance race to the line. Sure footed Adam Scrafton added the conversion and Rods had re-established a decisive lead. (Rods 24 – 10 York RI).
York had not given up and the rest of the half was to be a defensive challenge for the home team, Martyn Thompson setting the example with a terrific try saving tackle, this was not the only example, Tom Tooley and Pete Freeman also stopping other York efforts.
Rods had a few moments as the game moved to a close, as Adie Carr and Liam Crawley showed strong running skills to ensure York weren’t having it all their own way. The Rods defence was still working hard with Richard Robinson, Tom Edwards and Ben Barnes at the fore. With just 5 minutes left York’s pressure finally told and they scrambled over for a try (Rods 24 – 15 York RI).
The Rods pack had found it difficult in the second half, but they showed great resolve as the game drew to a close. York had a scrum 5m out in the last minute, with their supporters calling for a push over try the scrum held firm and this showed the grit and determination of the whole side in the second half.
Final Whistle Rods 24 – 15 York RI.