1st XV
Sat 02 Apr 2022  ·  Yorkshire One
Selby RUFC
1st XV
Leodiensian RUFC 10 - 26 Selby RUFC

Leodiensian RUFC 10 - 26 Selby RUFC

Karen Ratcliffe6 Apr 2022 - 18:43
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Selby retain their 5th position in Yorkshire 1 with a comfortable win at Leodiensian.

Leodiensian RUFC 10 – 26 Selby RUFC

Report by Ian Marlow
Selby consolidated their fifth place in Yorkshire One, and avenged an earlier home defeat, with a comfortable but scrappy win away at Leeds-based Leodiensian on Saturday.

Selby’s first team selections since Christmas have seen a smorgasbord of different players donning the green, red, and gold, with many making their debuts – and this week’s new boy crossing the first-team whitewash was long-serving lower team player and ‘Son of the President’ (Dougie not Joe!), Jamie Skelton. And how proud Dougie (whose only claim to playing fame was sporadically stumbling about in the fifth team 25 years ago) must have been watching as son Jamie acquitted himself so well, and in such a pivotal position as scrum-half - with his MOTM performance, awarded by his teammates, maybe not for technical accomplishment but for sheer effort, determination, and grit.

The first ten minutes was all Leodiensian as they recycled and retained possession well and enthusiastically, with Selby barely touching the ball. However, the Swans defence was up to the task and after soaking up the pressure fly-half Henry Wright bamboozled the Leodiensian defence (not for the last time) with a lovely outside break to take play up to the Leodiensian line - from where he then slotted a neat kick through for centre Tomasi Tanumi to dot down for 0-7 against the run of play.

That seemed to open the Selby floodgates as they then started throwing the ball about in skilful and entertaining fashion, with Leodiensian now having to defend desperately against the multiple avenues of attack. It wasn’t long though before Wright spotted a gap to wriggle his sylph-like figure through and after his electric run was halted inches short, he beautifully offloaded to the supporting Tanumi for his second try, and a 0-14 lead. Selby looked to be in again shortly when another kick through only had to be collected and scored – but, while the chance went begging, it seemed not to matter with the Swans now so far on top of a seemingly struggling Leos that another chance must surely come soon?

Not so however, as Selby’s Achilles’ heel inability to maintain momentum and pressure returned. Undisciplined play and three needles penalties gave Leodiensian a leg-up into the Selby 22 and from there they took their chance well with a smart try to close the gap to 5-14. Selby continued with their slack play and another slew of penalties against them gave Leodiensian further good chances to score – but amid Selby’s troubles their strong defence did, at least, not desert them and Leodiensian were repelled until half time with no further score.

The second half was a frustrating affair as Selby saw the lion’s share of possession to build several good attacking positions, only to constantly thwart themselves with their own poor choices and skills. In particular a number of chances were blown by over-elaborate passing, when simple hands down the line seemed the much more sensible option. And when the ball did manage to make it to the wing without a knock-on or forward pass, to give wingman George Stoker an unimpeded run to the line, he somehow managed to plonk his size nines into touch to negate his own score.

Then amid the accumulating gloom Selby scored a stunner. A long Leodiensian kick was fielded from deep bottom left, and after a series of superb recycles and breaks upfield, with Bob Robinson and Harrison Green prominent, the flanker was on hand to give the final pass to full-back Olly Turvey to finish in the top-right corner for 5-19. Unfortunately the dross then returned, with Selby continuing to prat about in amateurish fashion as they searched for the four-try bonus point. Substitute winger Dan Reid looked to have earned it as he squeezed in at the corner, but the youngster hasn’t eaten enough pudding in his short life and he was held up over the line – before, finally, another piece of individual brilliance from Wright did seal the bonus point as he swerved and shimmied his way through the Leodiensian line, yet again, to touch down to cap a super individual display. There was just time for Leodiensian, who never stopped working their socks off throughout, to score a late and deserved try for a final score of 10-26.

Selby have an important and tough match against fourth-placed Bridlington at home on Saturday – and it is vitally important they get something from it to protect the fifth-spot promotion place on offer this season.

Match details

Match date

Sat 02 Apr 2022




Yorkshire One

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