Veseyans Rangers, captained on the day by Sam Irvine, is our development side involving our younger squad members and featuring those players with genuine first team aspirations and experience. The aim is to develop a list of fixtures against similar ability teams who will test our progress as a senior squad and give first team players returning from injury an intense work out against skilful and fast opposition. That said, our player of the match was our John Fellows – a man of maturing years but a tireless ball carrier and defender, and a real menace around the break down.
Let’s get the result over with – we lost. However, I want to concentrate on the positives, of which there were many.
The work done in pre-season and over the last weeks has developed a style of play which is both direct and controlled. When we got into our rhythm we made large gains with a combination of determined forward work and expansive backs play. The first Rangers score came from a series of forwards moves off our young scrum half, Will Slattery, who showed great promise with his quick feed from the rucks and mauls. We built momentum through the constant press of the forwards, created a wide ball for Adam Titchen to run on to, but rather selfishly, Lewis Graham, a prop finding himself in the outside centre channel, dummied the pass stepped inside his marker, and squealing with delight placed the ball down for a try. To be honest, it was the only time we got the ball out onto the right wing during the first half. A strong cross wind reduced Titchen to a bystander – he could have got out a deck chair and read the paper such was the effect of the wind.
The scores were even at half time with DK hitting back with a good attacking move.
The second half saw the Rangers create scoring opportunities aplenty after periods of good structured play. Having tied the DK defenders in around a ruck, Jamie Davies the replacement scrum half, set the backs off on a wide move which saw the opposition winger isolated two on one. Joe Williams dummied a pass and stepped inside to beat the DK defence. Sadly, a couple of late errors saw the home team run in two tries. The score definitely flattered the opposition.
All in all a solid opening game for the new Rangers team which saw the return to competitive rugby of Tom Milburn, a former 1st XV Captain. Grbs, as he is better known, showed some of the line out skills he is reknown for and has lost none of his leadership qualities. At one point, after defending around twenty phases of play in our own 20 metres he was heard to say “lads let’s work our way out now” – five phases later we had scored. Priceless.
And finally for a club such as ours to field three senior teams on a Saturday for the second week running is a massive achievement.