Goole 33-19 Beverley
Three wins from three opening games of the new season for Beverley and then a tricky trip away to local derby rivals Goole to really test where we are with regards to redevelopment of the team, which continues under head coach Craig Hancock. It was also a top-of-the-table clash, although a little premature to call it that only three weeks into the season. As ever, a competitive local derby, which usually goes in favour of the home team, and indeed in this instance Goole ran out deserved winners 33-19.
The first half saw both teams moving up and down the pitch into threatening positions, and after an early off-side penalty conversion from Beavers captain Rob Smith to take the lead, it was Goole that made that pressure count on 13 minutes with an unconverted try on the left-hand side, and then a converted try on 28 minutes and then shortly after a maul try on 31 minutes all of which were deserved and a reflection of the effort that the forward pack was producing in open play, complemented with some poor tackling from Beverley. Half-time 19-3 to the home team, and although Beverley had been in the game, the scoreboard did not reflect it.
Beverley forwards in set play had dominance, although the lineouts were a little hit-and-miss for both teams, in the scrum, there was no denying the Beverley pack at the edge, but in open play, the Goole forwards and backs competed more aggressively at the breakdowns securing and turning over more ball than Beverley. They also were very well drilled in defence, working as a unit and diffusing the Beverley attack. Even at this score line, the large contingent of Beverley support still felt that their team had the scoring prowess in the backline to pull back the deficit.
The supporters were proven right. An infrequent gap in the line in the home team’s defence allowed Rob Smith to jink through and then sprint finish close to the posts for a great individual try, duly converted on 56 minutes. Two offside penalty conversions on 60 and 63 minutes from Capt Smith saw the deficit narrowed to just three points, 19-16, and for a brief moment, it felt as if the tide had turned and Beverley were in the ascendancy. Four minutes later however the home team responded, again aided with some poor tackling, a good try well converted and the gap was back at 10 points, 26-16. Nine minutes later Beverley’s last points of the afternoon were taken from a Smith penalty, and then with two minutes to play the home team finished with a well-worked try from a scrum under the posts, final score 33-19.
This was a very competitive game of rugby with a little bit of niggle in places which helped spice up the competition, Beverley didn’t quite click, but that was also testimony to the aggressive defence from the home team to disrupt the usual game that Beverley excel at, only on a couple of occasions where Beverley’s backs able to do much with the ball, and too often finishing with a handling error or a turnover at the breakdown. Rob Smith was deemed Beverley’s man of the match and did haul in all of Beverley’s points for the afternoon. Smith commented, “although disappointed with the result, we know we can play better, we just need to find ways to unlock teams like Goole, and on our big pitch in Beverley, we look forward to doing exactly that in December for the return fixture.” Next week, Huddersfield at home 3pm kick-off at Beaver Park.