By Dave Campbell
Scarborough’s third local derby in as many weeks, this time against Driffield, followed the pattern set in the previous two games with York and Pocklington in that, they were high-scoring, full of attacking rugby and tries. However, unlike the previous two, the Seasiders were on the wrong end of a fifty-plus points score-line.
The Woldsmen were unable to harness a strong south-westerly wind in the opening quarter and it was Scarborough who took the lead with the first score of the game after 27 minutes; wing Jack Anderson stepping on the gas down the right touchline and taking a pass from centre Aaron Wilson to score in the corner.
The visitors bounced back in the 32nd minute when Scarborough second row Tom Hicks was sin-binned for a high-tackle and fly-half James Watts slotted the resulting penalty to reduce the arrears at 5-3.
Skipper Matty Jones’s men seemed to take this temporary dismissal in their stride and from a penalty just outside the Driffield 22, ever-alert scrum-half Jordan Wakeham took a quick tap and scampered over in the 34th minute. Fly-half Tom Ratcliffe added the extras for a 12-3 lead.
Coach Simon Smith’s charges then totally switched off and conceded three tries scored by No8 George Mewburn (2) and hooker Jack Sowersby all converted by Watts in the space of five minutes to trail 12-24 at the break.
The shell-shocked Silver-Royders had to start from scratch in the second half and they applied themselves vigorously with some barn storming runs from Hick, Cade Robinson and replacement prop Nino Cutino.
And following a yellow card for ex-Scarborough prop Alessandro Zavatti, Wakeham took another quick tap about 30 metres out and sliced through the visiting defence to score between the uprights in the 52nd minute. Ratcliffe converted to reduce the arrears to five points at 19-24.
Driffield attacked from the re-start and only committed defence deep in their own 22 kept Scarborough in touch. They redoubled their efforts to get back into the game and when Wilson made a muscular dash up the right touchline his inside pass found Hicks with a lot still to do. The abrasive second row powered through some heavy traffic and barged over in the 66th minute. Ratcliffe nudged his side 26-24 ahead with the conversion.
A Watts penalty in the 69th minute saw the Woldsmen regain the lead at 27-26 and it looked as if we were in for another nail-biting finish to another local derby? Not so! Driffield upped the tempo in the closing ten minutes and three unanswered tries from wing Joe Robinson, scrum-half Craig Gray and fullback Harry Jackson. .saw them end the second half as they had the first and collect a bonus point with a well-deserved 42-26 win.
Coach Simon Smith’s charges are scoring tries for fun again this season with 23 touchdowns in their last four games and are playing wonderfully skilled and exciting rugby. However, their tendency to completely switch off for fairly short periods and concede multiple tries has been alarming. However it has to been said the squad have exceeded expectations in their first season at level 6 and have garnered points in EVERY game they have played; are also one of the four teams on 33 points at the top of North One East.
With York they are the joint highest scorers in the league with 302 points but are let down by one of the poorest defensive records. To be fair they have been playing with two players (a wing/fullback and a second/back row) out of position in the vital centre positions.
They have a free Saturday this week and will have time to take a breather and reflect on a marvellous start to the season; however I’m sure they’ll be working on their game on the training ground before the long trek to bottom club Consett next week.
Tries: wakeham x 2, hicks, anderson
Conversions: ratcliffe x 3
Tries: newburn x 2, sowersby, robinson, gray, jackson
Conversions: watts x 3
Penalties: watts x 2
Scarborough: perrett anderson young wilson marshall ratcliffe wakeham core dawson jones hicks robinson jordan holloway d.govier martin Substitutes: nino cutino luke brown manning smith
Scarborough News "Man of the Match": jordan wakeham
On an afternoon when his side switched off twice in one game, Scarborough’s quick-thinking scrum half kept alert and scored two excellent opportunist tries to keep his side in the game.