The Village Spartan’s 2B’s headed to Sheffield to play the Sheffield Vulcans in the IGR League.
In atrocious conditions, movement up the pitch was short and the ball stayed in hand and in the middle of the park. The two sides were evenly matched.
The opening score came from the Vulcans who broke down the right side through the backs, and the Spartans defended the tryline beautifully for multiple phases before the Vulcans pressure told and were able to score.
Not to be deterred, the Spartans evenly contested the game. With the wind and rain making ball handling so difficult, attacks were forced to go through the forwards. Unfortunately the ball proved too slippery on occasions and the Vulcans were let off.
Towards the end of the first quarter the Vulcan’s took control. After picking the ball up in his own half, the Vulcans’ fullback carried the ball past multiple tackles and was able to play the ball out wide to the right wing. From there, the Vulcans made it down to within metres of the try line. Although the Spartans again defended through multiple phases, the Vulcans found enough strength to get the ball down and bring the score to 12-0.
The cold was turning on the players with multiple knocks and shocks affecting both sides. Undeterred, the 2XV-Bs came together and continued to play some of their best rugby, with forwards in particular taking big hits trying to find a try.
Just after half time the Spartans forwards piled in together in the Vulcans 22 and, after much pushing, lock Tom Vosper found the tryline and brought the Spartans back into the game at 12-5.
With the momentum on their side, the B’s pushed for their second try. Backs, including Gazz Pashley and Robbie Young, now carrying with ferocity to rival the forwards and forced the Vulcans into big hits and hard work to defend themselves.
Having absorbed the pressure, the Vulcans were able to kick downfield. The chasing pack were able to overhaul the Spartans defence and scramble the ball over for their third try and the score now 17-5.
With the conditions affecting the players, the Vulcans were forced into playing with 13 men and the Spartans began to crank the pressure up. Multiple pick and go phases from the forwards – including Chris Eades and Terence Ralph – carried our squad to the 22m line. From there, scrum-half James Anderson sniped down the blind side and shrugged off two tackles to score.
Although the conversion was blown wide by the wind, the 2XV-Bs pushed back again, and powerful running was again the Spartans’ friend. After a handful of phases, Joe Brady was able to crash over in the final minutes, closing out the game just short of the win at 17-15.
Tom Vosper was awarded man of the match.