Old Crossleyans RUFC 41 - 0 Selby RUFC
By Stephen Ward
Another painful defeat sees Selby slip into the relegation places.
Old Crossleyans RUFC 41 – 0 Selby RUFC
Report by Ian Marlow (Posted by Stephen Ward)
Selby’s difficult start to the New Year continued with another painful defeat away at Old Crossleyans where they were given a lesson in ball control and game management from their opposition, but precious little else.
At least the Swans started reasonably well, managing to secure the ball from the kick off and keeping it through a number of phases, however this only served to highlight their own lack of game management or cutting edge as they never managed to get the ball over half way – and when Crocs finally got their chance, the almost inevitable Selby penalty gave them field position right on the Selby line from where they soon crashed over for the first score.
Selby’s efforts were not helped by a poorly executed restart – an affliction that, to the growing incredulity of the Selby faithful, plagued them throughout the match - giving easy possession right back to the opposition from which, after yet another Selby penalty, they crossed for their second try. Some good powerful running from Sam Phipps, Sam Broughton and Charlie Cicero together with a dominant scrummage, gave Selby some respite but their propensity to concede penalties gave Crocs every chance to show their superior handling and ball retention capabilities and another two penalties stretched the score to 16-0. The referee then tired of just penalising Selby for persistent offside and after repeated, and unheeded, warnings binned Selby’s Shaun Crouch, making Selby’s job even harder. With the Selby defence now stretched and broken another penalty and try left Selby looking very sorry for themselves at 24-0 down at half time.
The half time introduction of Scott Birch into the Selby backline for a thankless task of a debut improved Selby’s go-forward considerably and he made a number of meaty breaks up the middle to take play onto the Crocs line - but then, to encapsulate Selby’s season, possession was lost and Crocs exposed their defensive frailty to sweep downfield for another try.
The one consolation for Selby was that their scrummage remained very solid and with an improved line out display the Swans suddenly started to get a hefty slice of possession themselves. Young fly-half Harry graham also started making much more effective use of the ball and with his siege gun right boot finding some excellent positions in the Crocs 22 Selby were looking much more competitive. Unfortunately, despite the best efforts of Phipps, Birch, substitute Charlie Thompson, and the indefatigable Cicero, Selby were unable to breach some excellent Crocs defending to open their account - and then to rub Selby’s nose in it Crocs working their way up field for a sixth try and final score of 41-0.
Selby now have a critical match at home against Keighley on Saturday and they will be hoping to back up their corresponding away win against the same opponents earlier in the season to get their season back on track.