Colts Edge Local Derby
Rotherham Colts progressed to the Keith Dyas Yorkshire Cup Final after narrowly beating Premier Division local rivals Sheffield, 10-13 at Abbeydale.
Match report is courtesy of Callum Tongue.
Rotherham headed over to Abbeydale to face Sheffield in the semi-final of the Yorkshire Cup. After a four week break in their fixture calendar, Rotherham lacked match fitness and vital match practice. With that in mind, there could be no argument that Roth were the underdogs, as Sheffield were in the premier division of the Yorkshire Colts league, that was to their benefit however, as there was no real pressure not to lose.
Rotherham received the kick off and played away from the clubhouse in the first half. And immediately applied the same long and persistent periods of pressure they have to teams all season. Dominating field position and really putting the hosts on the back foot. However, Rotherham's line-out was failing to function after losing the first four; that along with needless penalties kept Sheffield in the game. Aside from a few odd breaks they weren't really threatening much at all which was a bit of a surprise. When they did break, often through their pacey winger, the defence scrambled effectively and extinguished the threat of a try. The first points of the day came from Rotherham on 14 minutes. Tom Henderson sniped through the defence and was tackled short of the line, laid the ball back for Danny Howells to score against his old club in typical fashion. A difficult conversion missed by Luke Powell.
Sheffield were then let back into the game from continuous infringements. After a penalty from the halfway, Sheffield kicked their way into Rotherham's 22, and after a good period of pressure forced their way over close to the posts. Conversion scored; 7-5. After a good kick chase Rotherham forced the error and continued to dominate play. After a good catch and drive lineout, Oliver Dynan broke down the blind side to eventually score, after a near embarrassing attempt to get closer to the posts. He didn't get close enough in the end, conversion missed; 10-7. The penalties again were costing Rotherham, up until this point in the game it had just cost them field position but when one was given away in close proximity the posts, it was slotted to take the teams into half time at 10 apiece.
The second half was more of a battle for Rotherham, the shock to Sheffield of the first half led them to come out with more of a fight after the break, they no doubt expected to walk over Roth, but they just chose the wrong day. Rotherham defended valiantly for all of the second period and were never really in the same attacking positions as the first half. It looked like the game could end as a tie with Rotherham taking the game on the tries scored rule. After deciding that was no way to win such a closely contested game, Rotherham on one of their visits to the Sheffield 22 slotted a penalty to make the score 13-10 eight minutes before time. What a way to take the win after such heartbreak in last year’s plate final. It certainly feels better to be on the right side of the three points. Rotherham’s victory secured a match with a strong Wharfedale side in the final for their efforts, following their brilliant team performance. A big well done to the twenty that turned up!