match report from burley...

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match report from burley...

Post  Baxter on Wed Oct 21, 2009 5:12 pm

http://www.burleyrufc.co.uk/Reports/sheffmeds17102009.php
As another early Autumn Saturday dawned and the morning ran into afternoon the Burley team started to arrive at the ground knowing that today would be the biggest test so far this season.

The Burley men were to face Sheffield Medics, a team who have enjoyed a great start to the season with some impressive results. The clubhouse, full to the rafters with both teams (before the second team left for their trip to Selby), had the heavy atmosphere of apprehension and nervous tension.
In recent weeks the Burley team has enjoyed some great results of their own, with performances improving on a weekly basis. More hard work at training on Wednesday had only acted to increase expectation.

Bisson, in dour mood, led the team in the warm up and was to lead the team on the pitch. The concentration throughout the preparations for the game was palpable and, when the opposition arrived, they can only have been impressed by the intensity in which the Burley 18 were preparing.

Intensity is a word you will see often in this report – it was a key part of the day.

The game kicked off with the Burley men playing up the now infamous Abbey Road hill, with Medics receiving. While the smaller team to a man the Medics side looked confident and were obviously planning to cause the Burley outfit problems through an expansive game aiming to release their flying backs. From the start though it was clear that Burley were in no mood to let their younger, less experienced opponents play the game they wanted. From the initial impact the Burley forwards drove into their opposition. At every opportunity the Burley pack turned defence into attack with big hits in the tackle and aggressive rucking at the breakdown, turning over ball and forcing penalties.

The game continued in this vein with the Medics team being knocked back at every contact and resorting to kicking to relieve pressure. Roberts, having a fine game already, took each ball with aplomb and returned it with interest into areas that hurt the Sheffield outfit. With the pack totally dominating their smaller opponents in the loose and enjoying increasing dominance in the scrum the back were enjoying some good fast ball, with Bisson and Carnochan making huge inroads into the Medics 22 whenever they received the ball.

It was the Burley forwards though who would forge the first try when, after a strong maul deep into the Medics 22 Carnochan drove the ball further forward, releasing Robinson to score in the corner. Despite having an inspired game Roberts missed a tough kick and the score was 5-0.

Again after the restart the Burley intensity continued with the whole pack putting in tackle after tackle , driving their opposition back at every opportunity. The doctors-in-waiting had obviously not seen a team willing to put their bodies on the line like this before in the season and began to capitulate, looking uncomfortable driving the ball into contact and choosing to kick at every opportunity instead. Burley could have been several points more to the good had small mistakes not been made in attack with a few dropped balls and wrong choices in promising positions.

Just before half time the Abbey Road men did suffer a setback though when influential fly half Binder turned his ankle in a tackle and had to be withdrawn from the field. R. Hill came on at scrum half with Bisson moving to the flank and J. Hill moving to fly half after an impressive half as flanker (his first outing in that position for the club). For the remainder of the half the Burley intensity dropped as the team adjusted to the changes in personnel allowing the Medics team a foothold in the game. The lineout also started to falter slightly, giving the Sheffield students a small amount of first phase possession they hardly deserved but which they used well, with a few well worked moves into the Burley 22. The Burley defence held firm though, snuffing out these opportunities with a mixture of strong cover tackling and committed rucking.

On one such occasion, after Burley were awarded a scrum on their own five metre line, the ball spilled from the side of the scrum and was poached well by the Medics scrum half to dive over unopposed. The conversion was a formality as the scrum had formed directly under the posts. Burley were behind in the cruellest of fashions.

At half time the Burley men turned round behind, a turn of fate that seemed impossible only 10 minutes before with the team dominant. This was the motivation the team needed though and, as they received the ball from the kick-off, the intensity of the first 30 minutes was back in evidence.

This pressure soon resulted in a penalty chance for Roberts, the Burley fullback, after Medics were found to be offside in defence, as they were for the majority of the afternoon. The penalty wasn’t easy and Roberts again missed the kick. From the restart though the Burley team went on the attack again with strong play from the forwards and intelligent running from the backs. Bisson made another trademark break through the Medics defence and release the ball to Christie who powered through to score the second try of the game to put the Burly team back in the lead.

Again Roberts missed a difficult conversion to leave the score at 10-7.

At this stage Cuthbert gave way for Griffin as fresh legs were needed in a pack that had worked tirelessly to dominate the opposition. Shortly after the try was scored the Burley team suffered more disruption when Bisson, having a strong and influential game, had to retire injured and was replaced by veteran Pinder, who slotted into the back row.

As the game drew into its final quarter it became a more open affair as the Burley pack, having put in a huge effort, began to feel the pace of the game slightly and the younger, smaller Medics started to find more space. Strong tackling from the Burley back line and continued commitment from the forwards though snuffed out any promising attacks and, with 10 minutes to go Burley renewed efforts and enjoyed a great attacking opportunity of their own.

Another strong positional kick from Roberts put the men in maroon where they needed to be and the forwards, despite their huge effort, drove ball after ball into the heart of their opponents defensive line, getting closer and closer to the line with every effort. The crowd sensed a final score to kill off the spirited opponents and snuff out their growing confidence. Unfortunately it was not to be as the ball wasn’t protected effectively enough and the spilled allowing the Medics to clear their lines. With just minutes to go the game continued to ebb and flow with Medics enjoying more possession than they had in the game to date, utilising the speed of their quick winger and fleet footed centre to good effect. Unfortunately a couple of promising chances and glaring overlaps were turned down by the inexperienced fullback and the Burley defence held firm.

The medics winger may also have learned a lesson when he tried to run over the big Burley No.1. There was only going to be one winner in that collision and, as several minutes of treatment were administered, the young man from Sheffield had plenty of time to lament his decision not to take the longer route around the prop. 3 points were added by Roberts in the final minutes to cap a very impressive performance from the fullback. His two missed kicks should not detract from what was an impressive display of positional play and kicking from hand.

Despite one final Medics attack the Burley team held firm and, as the final whistle blew, celebrated a fine victory over one of the better teams seen at the Abbey Road ground this season. The visitors frustration at being dominated (when they made the trip to Leeds as league leaders and expecting to win) was obvious when their No. 3 threw his second tantrum of the game, much to the amusement of the large Burley crowd. Age and experience will teach him to take loss with better humour, as might the jeers of the Burley faithful who enjoyed a little light relief after an impressive but tense game.

Both teams should take a great deal from a game full of skill and commitment, where attacking flair was matched in equal measure with defensive power.

The Burley boys move on to an even greater challenge on Saturday when they play old rivals Otliensians. The Otley outfit, flying high in the league above, should provide an even greater test for the ever improving men from Leeds.

MOTM – Tim Roberts
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Baxter
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Re: match report from burley...

Post  Tissa on Thu Oct 22, 2009 3:17 am

c**ks! tho lovin the chris yu n will rofe banter! oh n the inexperienced full back (meakin! lol) x

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Re: match report from burley...

Post  Matthew Clark on Thu Oct 22, 2009 3:29 am

that is unreal...speachless (for once)
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Re: match report from burley...

Post  zak on Thu Oct 22, 2009 4:29 am

Unbelievably this match report is more biased than the ref the brought in!!

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Re: match report from burley...

Post  Marcin The Pole on Thu Oct 22, 2009 5:30 am

inexperienced fullback !!! hehe loving it Meakin !
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Re: match report from burley...

Post  Pops on Thu Oct 22, 2009 9:52 am

cannot begin to tell you how angry that report has made me....in fact I'm writing my own match report to set the record straight!!!
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