Well after our fantastic win against our old foes and local rivals Pontefract we came down to earth with a bang at Old Rishworthian last Saturday deservedly losing 33-21. If I look at the whole campaign the two games against Rishworthians have without doubt been our worst matches of the season. We are a real Jekyll and Hyde side, at times when all our players are available we play like a top 4 team, playing some scintillating, well managed and controlled rugby, at other times usually away from home we look like a Yorkshire 2 team….. hopefully we have the former to witness today.
Today we play 5th placed Beverley who are equal on 76 points with Old Crossleyans and since the turn of the year have only lost 2 games both away to Keighley and Dinnington. They are a good side they have a workmanlike pack but its their back division which is arguably one of the best in the league that we need to be are of both Doubleday at 10 and Richardson at 15 are very good players at this level.
Our mission today is pretty simple, win the game and we’re safe…… end of…
Our last two outings at home have seen us beat Brodliens and Pontefract who are 6th and 3rd placed respectively so on our day we can compete….At the time of writing we have a strong team on paper so hopefully we will be able to compete today and get the result we require
Last week’s result put a little dent in the calculations in my ‘purple book’ which said we would get 50 points, we can still achieve that but it would now require two bonus point wins.
Today will no doubt be a large crowd, its our annual sponsors day, Beverley is not far away so I expect them to bring a number of spectators and I am sure the crowd will be further swelled by members hoping to cheer the lads on. The scenes witnessed both on the touchline and after the game against Pontefract have no place in Rugby Union. What started as ‘light hearted banter’ quickly developed into a concerted vulgar personal abuse of our coach and then to cap it all the Pontefract chairman physically hit one of our members. All the necessary reports have been made and sent to the appropriate parties. Please could I ask that whatever the game is like, whoever wins or loses then both sets of spectators and coaches show the appropriate amount of decorum associated with our game.
Normally at this time of year we organise our annual unders and overs game followed by the players presentation and in recent years the player awards have been somewhat overshadowed. So this year we have split the two and I am pleased to say we are holding our annual player awards on Friday 3rd May in the clubhouse commencing at 7.30pm. We are hoping as many players and spectators alike will support the event. More details to follow.
Finally I thought I’d give you an update on the league structure, a number of you may not know but the RFU are looking at a number of options in the Northern Division as a result of a number of Lancashire clubs pulling out of the league structure primarily because of the travelling distance to the likes of Cumbria. Its obviously considerably less miles from Oldham and Rochdale to Halifax than it is to Workington. So a number of alternatives were presented before us to try and eliminate this issue and I have to say the RFU stance was very much to try and reduce the size of the league from the current 14 team league to 12. From where we are in Selby in Yorkshire One (level seven) we think that reducing the leagues would not work for us, the status quo is perfectly ok, 14 team leagues work, they generate us the revenue, they give us sufficient games without being over bearing on the players and aspirationally we have both a level 7 or 6 league that mileage wise is perfectly acceptable. We also polled our players who all wanted to remain in a 14 team league.
I can now confirm that from 2019/20 14 team leagues will continue at level 6 and 7 in Yorkshire
Finally, may I take this opportunity to thank all our sponsors who are our guests today. Local community rugby clubs like ours, would find it very difficult to operate without their kind generosity.
We hope you enjoy your day and thank you for your continued support.
Enjoy the game today,
Yours in rugby