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Royce's Put Down Marker at North Hykeham

North Hykeham 0 - 55 Rolls-Royce

Last Updated: Oct 29, 2013 01:44pm
Sinfin, City of Derby
By Robin Kennea
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With a bus booked for a glorious trip over to North Hykeham there was plenty of banter on the way killing off all nerves before this top of the table league match. With one of the strongest Royce’s squad seen in recent times the hopes were high amongst the team and the travelling supporters.

Hykeham choose ends making Royce’s play into the wind and the sun in the first half. The game started as the expected tight contest with both sides competing at the set plays and using their big centres to crash into the defensive wall. It took 10 minutes before Royce’s could sustain pressure in Hykeham’s half resulting in a penalty, but Charlie Kowszun could not make it count. Hykeham responded by pinning Royce’s into our own 22. The wind began to tell as Royce’s clearing kicks were not providing release leading to a series of lineouts, but the forwards did the hard work to turn the ball over. From the front to the back row of the scrum the forwards hunger at the breakdown was evident continuously creating turnovers for the backs to launch counter-attacks.

Royce’s were beginning to find gaps as the new lineout calls were being carried out seamlessly giving great attacking ball. Charlie was feeding the centres to break through the defensive line before Danny Reddington managed to butcher a three man overlap and then next play knock on before the line. It was 30 minutes into the game before the first points were scored as a solid scrum deep into Hykeham territory gave an opportunity for Henry Appleton to pick his man to steam roll and touch down right under the posts. In front of the posts Appleton after complaining about his kicking percentage couldn’t possibly miss the conversion.

After the first try the second came soon after as the backs ran a set move drawing the players in on the left, Macca saw his opportunity to stand in at fly-half on the right confusing the opponents. Seeing a herd of forwards in front of him, Macca set off on a 40 yard run turning the opposition inside and out to get himself a great solo try. Arran Phamphilon went off with a reoccurrence of the neck injury, allowing Callum Firth to come on and make his impact on the first half. More slick play from Royce’s put Hykeham on the retreat and as gapping space opened up on the left the right winger looped outside the fly-half. However, the ball went the other way and Henry offloaded to Callum the left winger to score in the right corner … not that I’m bitter. Half time and Royce’s were leading 19-0 after eventually grinding down the tough resistance from Hykeham and getting Danny to pass. 

The second half mimicked the end of the first with Royce’s creating numerous chances. Kowszun was to score next from what seemed to be one of the least threatening chances as he picked up a bobbling pass to throw the dummy and brush off the tackles to glide under the posts.  Kowszun would score again as man mountain Stuart Melvin for once not crunching the opposition was in the right place at the right time to pick up a loose ball. A series of offloads got the ball to the right winger who popped to the looping fly-half shearing through the outside defensive for the score.  

Stuart Melvin was appearing everywhere like a blonde devil stealing ball, but went too far as he was sin binned for not releasing in the ruck.  With 14-men on the pitch, Hykeham pumped up the effort to attack the Royce’s line. Excellent defensive cover from the backs and Danny sprinting like a cheetah after as gazelle as he flattened a Hykeham back who then threw the ball forward ensured Hykeham didn’t get near the try line. After 60 minutes Terry Smith marked his return to Royce colours with a huge hit for his prescript one contact of the season, and he didn’t even break himself.

Royce’s structured game was paying more dividends than RR stock as the forwards were interlinking into the backs plays. A brilliant phase work of passing down the line and cutting back saw Henry played in for the second of his brace.  Byron Edwards showed that forwards don’t just do the hard yards but also score tries as Macca stepped into the back line and released Callum who swerved through the Hykeham defence before offloading to Byron to score in corner. Charlie would then have to come off injured with knee problems after a debatable high covering tackle caused an awkward landing, to the absolute horror of a supporter who couldn’t bare to see anything happen to “his beautiful face”. With the abundance of fly-halves Arran slotted into the void after recovering from his previous injury and Mike was awarded [censored] of the Day for his football crowd mentality and also learnt to love the game of spoons.

The substitutions then became somewhat unpredictable as 3 backs had a go at flanker starting with Will Schofield (yes you read that correctly), then Stewart Clarke (who didn’t understand why the 7 other forwards were crouching down) and finally Oli North. Arran claimed the next try as Macca split the defence with a dummy and then pass to put Arran under the posts. The final play of the match saw “Chuck Norris” Melvin get his deserved try as he collected the ball off the fly half the faces came to his hand-off, then he spotted the ball under the posts. In front of the posts Appleton after complaining about his kicking percentage couldn’t possibly miss the conversion… oh wait he did with an epic fail.

In the end Royce’s ran out comfortable 55-0 winners against the ex-leaders of the league. It was difficult to single out one person’s performance, the opposition eventually decided on Charlie as Man of the Match. With a great bus trip back there’s nothing better than an away win. Well, maybe an away win that puts you top of the table!

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