Harrogate vs Kendal
By Peter Kitching
This was a dogged and determined effort from Kendal but the superior skills and speed shown by Harrogate provided a 38 - 0 victory for Harrogate which could have been doubled but for Kendal’s robust resistance.
With the fierce wind blowing across the pitch both sides were able to produce a good passing game.
Harrogate drove back Kendal’s pack in the first three scrums and despite Heaton, Coser and Rosillo making penetrating runs into the Kendal defence fifteen minutes elapsed before Harrogate produced their first score. Following powerful runs from man of the match, Boyde, prop forward Ward and flanker, Tasker, space was created for wings Lawson and Barnard to speed into the Kendal twenty two metres area creating the opportunity for full back Rosillo to finish with a try under the posts for Wyman to convert.
Eventually, Kendal were able to stabilise their scrums which were now evenly contested. Former Harrogate prop, Dom Musetti, was formidable in the Kendal front row but the referee was not happy with him not releasing the player following a tackle which gave Harrogate a penalty opportunity. Kendal were now feeling the Harrogate pressure and when Harrogate were awarded another penalty ten metres from the Kendal line they opted for the scrum rather than the kick for goal. Eventually the Harrogate pack drove over the Kendal line for a pushover try scored by second row Sam Brady. Wyman’s conversion completed the first half scoring 14 - 0.
For the first ten minutes of the second half Harrogate were confidently moving the ball around with Riddell and Lawson making good ground. Scrum half Matthews and fly half Fox combined well to link forwards and backs and following superb forward play kept up the pressure with good runs from Yorke and Ward. The Harrogate forwards continually threatened the Kendal line and scrum half Matthews was on hand to finish with a try under the posts for Wyman to convert. At the end of the third quarter Harrogate pressure in every phase of play created problems for the Kendal defence and they suffered several injuries to tiring players. Harrogate had the luxury of fresh legs with Maycock, new boy Hill, and Cookland coming on and the outstanding Coser was next to score wide on the right. The conversion was missed but Harrogate now had their bonus point for four tries.
Kendal made a few changes and for the next ten minutes they retained possession in the Harrogate half of the field but were still unable to convert their possession into points.
In the third quarter Harrogate were now rampant and worked their way once again into the Kendal twenty two where the Harrogate pack pushed Kendal off their own ball at a scrum and from the ensuing maul created another pushover try for the battling Boyde to claim the touch down. Cookland had now replaced Wyman and he kicked the conversion.
Kendal were now out for the count and Harrogate wings Lawson and Barnard with full back Rosillo were running everything. As the ball was driven into the right corner it was second row Brady who, surprisingly, was in support to take the scoring pass from the flying Barnard. The conversion was missed because of the difficult windy conditions but a victory by 38 - 0 was a satisfying result and keeps Harrogate in contention for a play off place in the league.
Harrogate: Rosillo, Barnard, Wyman, Riddell, Lawson, Fox, Matthews(Captain), Driscoll, Yorke, Ward, Boyde, Brady, Heaton, Tasker, J.Coser. Replacements: Maycock, Hill, Cookland.
Kendal: Bratton, Noyo, Carruthers, Barker, Harrop, Weightman, Baoardley, Musetti, Collinson, irving, Dervey, Mackay, Thompson, Chettleburgh, Downham. Replacements: Lashley, Wilson, Park.
Referee: Dave Charlton
Report by Brian Forshaw