|Hull Roundheads RUFC||40|
The second game of the season, found the Roundheads at home in Hessle, under the watchful gaze of the Humber Bridge. The weather was cool, the ground was soft, and the players prepared.
Sporting their new kit, the Roundheads stepped onto the pitch garbed in gold. The visiting Templars strode out in their striped strip. Named after their respective historical figures, the Hull Roundheads set up to receive from the York Templars.
Before the watching crowd, the game began.
The Templars kicked off before trampling down the field like knights on horseback. The Roundheads seized the ball and turned to face the enemy. Yellow shirts broke through the York line, once, twice, three times, more, and every time the Templars would fend off each tackle, compete each ruck. The ball swapped sides once, twice, three times, more, but neither team would concede, neither team could conquer. The effort and stamina on display was intimidating. The tackles were fast and fierce, often resulting in multiple prostrate players in the aftermath.
Eventually, through diligence and determination, ground was gained, Roundhead players penetrated their defence and the tide began to turn. Josh Edwards erupted through the line and scored the first try of the match, and his first for the club. This was swiftly followed by Dan Harraway, who danced around the defenders, gaining the Roundheads a second try, and his first for the club.
Taking the kick for the Roundheads, Mitch placed the ball between the post with practised precision.
There was chaos on the pitch, turnovers, missed passes and dropped balls meant possession was always in dispute. The amber army found themselves on the defence and losing ground. Quick as a flash, the boys emblazoned with bars of blue and white, whipped round the outside and scored a try.
It was the second half and like an acrobat, José was flung up into the air to repeatedly catch the Roundheads’ throws. Successfully passing the ball to Ben at nine every time. José, the safest hands on the pitch, even managed to charge the ball home and gain the Roundheads a third try. No wonder the Templars voted him their Player of the Match. The Roundheads’ choice went to Nathan Dervey, who played across two positions, handling himself superbly, in a field of potential MVPs, Nathan was the cream of the crop.
The York team were flagging. Both teams were losing stamina, but the Templars were losing players to injury. Both teams dropped numbers in the hope of allowing the game to continue. Capitalising on the Roundheads’ growing confidence, the captain caught the enemy unawares, pushing past players, he was pursued but unapprehended; Ian scored the fourth try for his athletes in amber. Followed by another sprint up the pitch from Josh after a sneaky interception, gaining his second try.
After weeks of training, Dan Whitt took to the field for his first game. His confidence and skill were plain to see. His transformation from apprehensive and coy to assured and confident was a joy to behold, and his commitment to training obvious in his drives and tackles. It was due to the hard tackles of the whole team, that the brand new kit was christened. In a bitter butting of heads, Jamie’s eyebrow burst with a blast of blood, alongside the mud leaving him streaked with red and brown like soldier.
It was also the first game representing the Roundheads for Mark Bjornson-Sutherland, who was an absolute warrior on the wing. Unafraid to tackle some of the towering Templars, or take the ball into contact, Mark’s experience will undoubtedly be called on again to face future foes. Following a beautiful offload from Martin Spokes, making his debut, Ian scored his second try, converted it himself, and ensured the win was more than secure for the Roundheads.
Both teams played with tremendous heart. York, especially, for opting to play on, when the game could have been conceded due to injury. The skills gained by Templars and Roundheads alike, since before lockdown, were evident. The game was hard played, the tackles were solid, the tries were tough to get and the team tough to beat. They did themselves proud, and the Roundheads were pleased to host them. One thing that stands out from every game, is the level of respect and sportsmanship that each IGR team plays and conducts themselves with. The Templars upheld this sense of honour and spirit within the world of inclusive rugby, and more than earned the Roundheads’ respect.
The Roundheads are the invaders in their next game, taking the fight to Sheffield, hoping to steal victory from the Vulcans.