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Rolls-Royce 24 - 7 Belper 2XV

Fortress Moor Lane Holds Strong to Repel Belper 2XV

Last Updated: Oct 22, 2013 08:10pm
Sinfin, City of Derby
By Robin Kennea
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With enough players available for two teams, the Belper match showed the growth in Royce’s squad depth with players contesting for the 1st XV starting jersey in multiple positions.

Leeroy Stratford led the team out as the illustrious club captain James Hinchcliffe decided to bench himself (obviously saving all that energy for North Hykeham next week).

The game started strong but seemed to lack structure as both sides were making serious gains through counter-attacking with Moor Lane suddenly displaced to the Southern hemisphere. The backs were making inroads; however the finishing was not the same as last week with a number of opportunities butchered as the team missed the simple plays. A couple times Royce’s looked to be building pressure on Belper but for a mistake to send us scampering back. The first score took a while coming but came Royce’s way as Arran Phamphilon skipped through in the centre and passed to the supporting Danny Reddington who took the scenic route to score all the way over in the corner. The difficult conversion was missed from out wide.   

Belper went on the attack but penalties against the opposition allowed Royce’s to clear their lines whenever the danger was mounting. Royce’s eventually put Belper back into their own half and the excitement was clearly evident in the forwards as Alex Robinson tried to up the pace of the game to the extent where he tried a lineout whilst the hooker was still collecting the ball 10 metres away.

Phases were being put together for the first time as Royce’s were awarded a scrum on the 5 metre line, a couple of attempts from the forwards left Neil Raistrick almost going over for the try but for another scrum to be given. This time the backs were given the ball and a simple centre crash play set Danny through again to emphatically slam the ball down. Claims came for a dropped ball but the referee had none of it and with the conversion Royce’s had some daylight.  

The beginning of the second half saw Belper on top as the opposition pegged themselves back into the game with a good converted score. The game continued in much of the same way as the first half with breaks leading to big runs down the field only for last ditch tackles. Henry Appleton found a gap in the defensive line and offloaded the ball to Arran who stepped the covering defence to go in for the score which he converted.

Then a series of injuries put players in unexpected positions and stemmed the flow of the game.  An injury to a Belper player was particular spectacular as he showed the lads the top of his finger which was 90 degrees from the bottom of the finger. Nerves were setting in on the touch line as the game felt too close until Arran managed to avoid the tackles and sprinted away for his second try of the match. James McGloin nearly scored as he decided to go alone and bulldoze over the full back only for the referee to judge he had knocked the ball on.

The last part of the match had Belper attacking the Royce’s 22 for a series of plays but for the defence to hold strong. Final score was 24-7 to Royce’s as we maintain an unbeaten status at home. Stuart Melvin was given man of the match as yet again he made some crunching hits and was a nuisance at the breakdown.

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