YOUNG WARRIORS HARDENED AFTER CROSS BORDER FORAY Glasgow U16’s travelled down to Yorkshire and Lancashire on the 17th April to play a two match mini tour against both Counties. The squad, buoyed by the return from injury of Ayr duo Jack Rountree and James Stirling, arrived and trained at Woodhouse Grove School (Bradford) on Friday evening before an early night. A glorious sunny day greeted us on our rise on Saturday morning and the build up to the match v Yorkshire began.
Yorkshire Match: 11.30am arrived and Yorkshire kicked off - Glasgow fumbled and Yorkshire applied pressure with good continuity in Glasgow’s 22. Typical spirited defence kept the home team from crossing the try line and eventually David Scott cleared out the half. It was Glasgow’s turn to attack and typical strong runs from Alan Haynes and Mark Bennett threatened to break through Yorkshire’s organised defence. From a scrum in their half Yorkshire broke out wide and went the length of the pitch, even an excellent tackle from Robbie Ferguson failed to stop the offload and Yorkshire scored under the posts. The half continued in the same vein – Glasgow threatening at times, but Yorkshire dominating play (especially the breakdown). Glasgow defended well, with Michael Vernell outstanding throughout, but Yorkshire’s sheer pressure and accurate finishing meant another three tries were scored before halftime with Mark Bennett scoring a solitary penalty for Glasgow. Half time: Glasgow 3 – 31 Yorkshire
Determined to not let Yorkshire pull further ahead Glasgow’s pack started to win solid set pieces, but still the breakdown was troublesome against a larger Yorkshire team. Glasgow camped in the Yorkshire 22 for the first 10 minutes of the second half and through a bit of luck scored their first try – passing down the back line Yorkshire pushed up and forced an error, from the error Mark Bennett scooped the ball up and dashed under the posts as Yorkshire stood by (Scott converted). Glasgow lifted from the score pressed again and deep from their half Bennett and Beckwith broke and linked to run clear and score try number two (Scott conversion) . Yorkshire tired under the sun and Glasgow pressed again and again as they scented a way back into the game. With 8 minutes to go again Glasgow’s backs from deep within their half broke and Beckwith out ran the cover defence to score (Scott conversion). The last 5 minutes were desperate as Glasgow went for the draw, but time ran out as they were on the Yorkshire line. Full time: Glasgow 24 – 31 Yorkshire
The Saturday evening was taken up with a trip to Huddersfield to watch the Super League match of Huddersfield Giants v Leeds Rhinos. Again there was an early night for the boys after a quick ‘bushtucker’ trial. The players were in the pool at 7.30am before they set off for the match v Lancashire at Preston Grass Hoppers (KO 1pm).
Lancashire Match: Lancashire kicked off and another kick off fumble let the home side attack from the start. Immense pressure came on from Lancashire and only determined defence and some sloppy passing kept the score to a single penalty. Finally Glasgow came to life and a break from Bennett let Gordon Ferguson break, a fantastic offload inside to David Scott from Ferguson gave Glasgow the lead (Scott conversion). Lancashire came back from the kick off, but with a 4 player overlap at their mercy Beckwith intercepted and raced the full length of the pitch (Scott converted). From a rare piece of phase play Bennett broke free and stepped the full back to score Glasgow’s third try. Glasgow were playing with confidence and soon after the backs were through the defence and Bennett put Beckwith clear (Scott converted). At 26 – 3 Glasgow were well in charge and threatening to pull away, but Lancashire came straight back and in the last 5 minutes of the 1st half scored two tries as they stretched the defence and Glasgow tiring wilted in the heat. Half time: Glasgow 26 – 15 Lancashire
At the start of the second half Lancashire started where they left off and scored through a driving maul to put them in touch with Glasgow. Glasgow rallied and from a scrum Scott Steele broke and fed Sam Goodrich – Goodrich stepped inside 2 defenders and broke through a further two tackles to extend the gap back to 11 points. Lancashire feeling their opponents tiring kept the ball in their forwards and drove narrow through the defence to score two tries to take a 1 point lead. Glasgow using the last of the energy surged up the pitch through their excellent backs before a cynical penalty was conceded in front of the Lancashire posts. A quick decision to run was made and a loose pass was knocked on with the try line at their mercy. Glasgow never recovered from his exertion and Lancashire driving narrow around the breakdown scored three late tries against a weary Glasgow defence. This was a harsh way to finish the weekend; after all the great effort and rugby that the Glasgow players had shown. Full time: Glasgow 33 – 48 Lancashire
A very big thank you to: