Moortown RUFC 53 - 20 Selby RUFC
By Stephen Ward
Selby fall short of a 4 try bonus point.
Moortown RUFC 53 – 20 Selby RUFC
Report by Ian Marlow
After two consecutive wins Selby Swans were well and truly downed in a thumping loss away at runaway league leaders Moortown - and while the result may indicate a large gap in class between the teams, Selby’s main problem was their own generally lacklustre and uncommitted performance.
Playing up the slope and against the breeze Selby actually gave a good account of themselves in the opening quarter, looking every bit as competitive as Town as both teams looked to spread the ball wide. After winger Alex Hare had pulled off a superb try saving tackle on Town’s flying centre it was his turn to attack as he combined with centre Alex Webster to blaze up the right wing, where only a crafty Town penalty stopped a great chance to open the scoring.
And then, suddenly and worryingly, Selby’s previously stout midfield went completely AWOL as a simple backs move from Town sliced through, as easy as you like, for a seven pointer under the posts. More good play from Selby followed though, and Scott Hunt slotted a well-earned penalty in reply before Selby’s lack of control and discipline gave easy field position for Town to maul themselves over from a five yard lineout for a 12-3 lead.
Unfortunately, Selby’s game then fell to pieces as Town collected the kick off deep in their own half and simply breezed right down the middle with barely a finger laid on them for another try; and then it was ‘open sesame’ again for the Swans as another straightforward backs move opened them up like a tin of tuna for another score to effectively end the game as a contest at 24-3. An interception try, run in from half way by Scott Hunt, gave Selby some brief respite before Town took advantage of Selby’s inability to do even the basics right to run in another two easy tries for a half time score of 34-8.
With Selby’s only real second half target now being a losing bonus point for four tries, it didn’t start well as Swans lethargy allowed Town to collect the kick off completely unchallenged to play through the phases to cross again for a shockingly poor try. A penalty kick to the corner from Selby though showed what they are capable of as the pack rather simply powered over for a second Selby try, touched down by prop Adam Leetham - although Town then simply strolled back up field to score in reply. With Selby now only interested in two more tries, Hare was very unlucky not to cross as, following a clever chip and chase, only a wicked bounce prevented a certain try and then, after Town had crossed yet again, Tom Edwards finished off a good break by scrum half Jarrod Dixon for Selby’s third try.
With Selby looking perfectly capable of scoring when they got near the Town line, the problem for them was that they could rarely get near the town line – with their own inability to control possession being the main culprit, rather that Town’s undoubted superior capabilities. Finally, with seconds remaining, another penalty saw Selby with a five yard line out and a great chance for a four try losing bonus point. Unfortunately however, Selby’s day was encapsulated by their inability to hit their own jumper on an uncontested throw. And when, seconds later, Selby did exactly the same again from another good chance, the ref finally blew up to put the Swans out of their misery.
Selby now have a week’s grace to recover for what will be a testing final four games of the season, starting at home to local rivals Pontefract at 3pm on 23 March.