Young Rovers fade in 2nd half
Methley Royals .. 44
Sharlston Rovers A .. 0
Pennine Division One
A poor second half showing cost Rovers dearly in this tough Division 1 encounter after a first half performance where the Rovers matched the home side in most departments. Short of numbers Rovers knew this would be a difficult outing and had to start well against league leaders Methley Royals. The Rovers defence held firm in the opening exchanges as Woodward and Shaw worked overtime to keep the much bigger home side at bay.
Excellent ball control in the opening quarter gave Rovers a good platform and Hill and Thaler marshalled the troops well putting pressure on the home forwards by turning them around with some good field kicking putting the home side on the back foot. Methley seemed to struggle with the enthusiasm of the Rovers side and were making unforced errors allowing rovers good field position.
Rovers went close through Garfitt and Shaw before a mistake gifted the home side a score after 12 minutes, and when a 2nd score followed on 15 minutes it seemed Rovers were in for a long afternoon. The young side dug deep however and were determined not to allow the Royals any easy yards and as the half wore on Rovers were looking comfortable. Gallagher’s well timed ball saw Whitehouse burst through but he could not get a pass away to his winger and Golec was held up over the line as Rovers battled away. Good defence from Palmer and Hill prevented a certain Royals try and as the half time break approached Rovers were rightly pleased with their efforts in the first 40 as they trailed 10 v 0 at the break.
As is becoming all too often for the Rovers the interval seems to disrupt their flow and within 2 minutes of the restart the home side scored the first of their 7 second half tries as fatigue set in and the visitors defence seemed to become non-existent at times. Methley are league leaders for a reason and they played some exciting rugby as they put the by now visibly tiring visitors to the sword with wave after wave of attacks where their support play often caught the Rovers youngsters napping.
When things are going well every risky offload and speculative pass seems to stick and the home side were using all their bag of tricks as they peppered the beleaguered Rover’s line.
Credit to the young side they never gave up but in the end there was only to be one outcome to this game as Rovers did well to limit the damage with some good scrambling defence as the game closed out.
Rovers despite losing players to injury showed their character throughout and will take some positives away from this match.
There were good signs despite the heavy defeat however and with Rovers expecting a number of players to return from either work commitments or injuries they have definitely got some things they can build on after this gutsy but outgunned showing.
In a good determined team effort the best from the Rovers were Edwards, Palmer and Shaw with Woodward taking “the Boomerang bar” sponsored man of the match award.
Next game for Rovers is at home v Castleford Panthers. Players meet at 12-30 at the clubhouse for a 2-00pm KO.