From the Touchline with Dave Campbell – Selby and SIX NATIONS roundup

7 Feb





Last Saturday’s Shield quarter-final win over Durham/Northumberland high-flyers Guisborough was a ‘game of two halves’ with a gale-force southerly wind blowing down the Silver Royd paddock all afternoon. Having won the toss, Phil Watson’s men made good use of the elements with first half tries from Charlie Hoggard, Tom Ratcliffe and Paul Taylor and led 17-0 at the break; the visitors failed to breach a resolute home defence in the second half, reinforcing the impression created by Acklam’s showing in Yorkshire One this season that there is quite a gulf between the Yorkshire and Durham/Northumberland leagues. That’s not to say that the Guisborough lads never gave it their all but having scored four or more tries in 14 of their 20 games in all competitions this season they had neither the guile or composure with the elements totally in their favour for forty minutes, to get over the whitewash against a mid-table Yorkshire One side.  


I was surprised when I got my copy of yesterday’s SCARBOROUGH NEWS and read in what appeared to be a re-jigged opening paragraph to my report that the ‘away team’ had scored three first half tries. If you read the report in the paper’s on-line edition, the Scarborough RUFC website or here on you will see that there was no mention of this at all. I’m told by my colleagues at the paper it was a printing error; thank goodness, I thought I really WAS losing it!



Selby travel to Silver Royd tomorrow looking to continue the fine form which has seen them lose only one of their last nine games; they have been a force to be reckoned with since their return to Yorkshire One and have scored four or more tries in 50% of their league games so far this season. Their last league outing was a rare 0-0 home draw with Ilkey in a game marred by the atrocious weather conditions that prevailed that afternoon all over the county. They returned to try-scoring form a few days later when they progressed to a home Yorkshire Shield semi-final with Scarborough winning 34-24 at York under floodlights.

Our unbeaten eight game run at the start of the season came to an end with defeat at Selby on the 19th of October last year. A convincing first-half performance saw Scarborough lead 20-6 at the break thanks to tries from Benji Cottle and Zybnec Schutz.  However, a great second-half comeback by Selby which included tries from Alex Hare and Teihana Brown was completed when fly-half Josh Cruise kicked a penalty four minutes from time to grab the points with a 22-20 win.



Club stalwart Graeme Jeffrey sustained a nasty knee injury last week and with Tom Harrison still injured, Harry Domett takes his place at fullback tomorrow. It may be indicative of the way Coach Lee Douglas will approach the game as he plays Jan Teiber and young Joe Lenton on the wings  neither of whom has troubled the scoreboard operator this season; will he look to keep things tight? Paul Taylor, who sustained a rib injury last week, is missing from the front row and Tommy Goodman comes in. Matty Oxtoby was also injured last week and Mikey Readman returns. Ryan Pickering, Matt Lucas and Blake Nightingale are on the bench.






Following last week’s Shield game at Silver Royd I repaired to the J.M.Guthrie for the France-England game on TV; as I was keen to get on with writing my report on the Guisborough game I left the clubhouse with England trailing 8-16 in the game. I stopped off at a shop on the way and by the time I got home Stuart Lancaster’s men had fought back and were 21-16 ahead. An exchange of penalties saw England 24-19 ahead at the death before Teenage centre Gael Fickou came off the bench to break England hearts with his late try for a thrilling 26-24 win. Was it injudicial substitutions or naive game management that let the game slip? Being a neutral I am content with having enjoyed a real thriller with a terrific try to settle the issue. England will have no such problems tomorrow against an embarrassingly (for a Scot) weak and physically feeble Scotland side which capitulated to the Irish in the second half last week and were well beaten 28-6. I have made many excuses for Scotland in the past; lack of a player base, fewer clubs than Yorkshire etc. The truth is that rugby has lost its way north of the border and 11 Six Nations wins in ten years tells its own story. Following that win, Ireland return to the AVIVA to take on champions Wales who scraped past Italy 23-15 in Cardiff last week; the men from the principality are notorious slow starters in the competition and I expect them to return to form for what should be a real battle royal in Dublin. Finally, Italy travel to the Stade de France on Sunday looking to repeat the shocks of last year when they beat ‘les blues’ 23-18 and Ireland 22-15 both in Rome. Their gritty performance against Wales indicates they’ll be no pushovers and I’m looking forward to the game. Home advantage to the mercurial French should be the difference between the sides. All of this weekend’s games can been seen at the J.M. Guthrie clubhouse on five big screens.

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