Tetleys Stadium, Dewsbury
This was an old fashioned tour match with both sides very committed in defence in very wet greasy conditions, however the deciding factor was a touch judge prompted moment in the 25th minute that resulted in Yorkshire second row forward Jon Eccles (Hull Dockers) being dismissed from the field.
It was always going to be an uphill task for Yorkshire from that moment on. The first quarters possession was dominated by the South’s but solid tackling from James Delaney (Dewsbury Moor), Chris Vogel (Wibsey Warriors)and Scott Mountain (Skirlaugh) kept them at bay. Almost with the home sides first possession with Carl Puckering (East Hull) and Chris Walker (Myton Warriors) prompting and executing some pinpoint tactical kicking, the impressive front row duo of Zak Johnson (Westgate Warriors) and Tom Richardson (West Hull) made the hard yards in the face of some massive big hits by South’s Daryl Brennan, drawing gasps from the crowd.
Richardson broke Yorkshires deadlock with some good footwork to score the first try on ten minutes converted by skipper Puckering 6-0. South’s soon responded when they pounced on an understandable mistake in the conditions by Omar Alwadi (Queens) to pounce for a simple try by Troy Busby to make it 6-4 after 15 minutes.
South’s went into the lead following a great break by Connor Higgins who off loaded to Ben Lindegarde who strolled through for a try converted by Isaac Tautaiolefua, four minutes later to make it 10-6.
The game changer occurred when Eccles raced up to an attacker but was stepped and stuck out an arm, there was debate about where he caught the Aussie but after the far touch judge intervened from over 50metres away he decided it warranted a red card. Yorkshire’s chance seemed to go with it, as Matt Bassett strolled under the posts for a try to extend the visitors lead 6-16.
No-one though had informed the Yorkshire team as they rallied and after excellent passing along the back line gave room for Stuart Smith (Skirlaugh) to dummy and ghost in for a try just before half time. Yorkshire were the architects of their own downfall as they looked as though they would score only for a silly interception was given to Brennan who did really well to hold off the cover and slip a try scoring pass to the supporting Tautaiolefua after 45 minutes to make it 20-10. Yet again unforced errors and loss of possession gave South’s the opportunity for Lindegard to slide a kick through for Gerard Stevens to score on 50minutes.
Yorkshire were not done yet and despite a heavy penalty count against them a bullocking run by Jamie Fields (Hunslet Old Boys) followed by Richardson gave Delaney the daylight he needed to squeeze in for a try converted by Puckering on the hour made it 24-16.
Yorkshire despite their 12 men continued to dominate and the ever impressive Johnson made ground through the heart of the strong Aussie defence before artistry by Walker and Puckering to release Keiron Murphy (Hunslet Old Boys) enjoying a strong game for a try wide out to cut the lead to four points with 9minutes to go. Yorkshire had chances through Tom Moorby (Drighlington) but were just unable to deliver the final blow and were pipped at the end. They left wondering why at least one visitor was not sent to the bench from some rough house tactics as their desperation increased under Yorkshire pressure.
Yorkshire Head Coach Tony Spence said, “This side showed some real character after losing a man for so long and could have pinched it, with our rested international players to come back into the squad for the tri county series we will be even better.”
The touring team’s management were obviously pleased with their win, delighted with the quality of the opposition and thrilled to have their first game after a long process of organisation and planning.
YORKSHIRE: 1. Jack Ridsdill (West Hull), 2. Omar Alwahdi (Queens), 3. Keiron Murphy (Hunslet Old Boys, 4. Stuart Smith (Skirlaugh), 5. Tom Moorby (Driglington), 6. Carl Puckering (East Hull), 7. Chris Walker (Myton Warriors), 8. Zak Johnson (Westgate Warriors), 9. James Delaney (Dewsbury Moor), 10. Tom Richardson (West Hull), 11. Chris Vogel (Wibsey Warriors), 12 Jon Eccles (Hull Dockers), 13. Scott Mountain (Skirlaugh). Subs: 14. Jacob Crossland (Normanton Knights), 15. Ryan Robinson (Queens), 16. Dave Render (Skirlaugh), 17. Jamie Fields (Hunslet Old Boys), 18. Daren Bunby (Hull Dockers), 19 Tom Saunders ( Hunslet Old Boys), 20. Chris Bingham (Sharlston Rovers).
Tries: Richardson 10, Smith 40, Delaney 60, Murphy 71; Goals: Puckering 2/4
SOUTH SYDNEY JUNIORS: 1. Isaac Tautaiolefua, 2. Gerard Stevens, 3. Rob Merney, 4. Dean White, 5. Brad Marks, 6. Ben Lindegarde, 7. Connor Higgins, 8. Braden Thompson, 9. Daryl Brennan, 10. Shaun Longbottom, 11. Haydon O’Donnell, 12. Steve Brown, 13. Troy Bunby. Subs: 14. Matt Basset, 15. Wara Manita-Waki, 16. Tim Bennett, 17. Morgan Amsfeld, 18. Andrew Tuigamala, 19. Aaron O’Brian, 20. Nelson Philips.
Tries: Busby 15, Lindegarde 19, Bassett 25, Tautaiolefua 45, Stevens 50; Goals: Tautaiolefua 2/5
Half-time: 10-16; Men of the Match: Keiron Murphy (Yorkshire), Isaac Tautaiolefua (South Sydney Juniors)
BARLA Media Manager
Yorkshire 20, South Sydney Juniors 24BARLA match report
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