2nd Team, Home

Seconds end season on a high

With the sun beating down across the Hull YPI turf, you’d be forgiven for thinking this was a pre-season game played in August, not early April. The ground was firm, not a breath of wind in the air. All round a great day to be watching rugby, but a tormentingly hot one to be playing in.
Withernsea made the trip from the sandy East coast in good spirits; with both teams struggling for form and confidence of late, this was an opportunity for one team to record a much needed win.
Hull themselves welcomed back Aaron ‘Chubby’ Richardson and Oli Stead into the fold, the former replacing Hull’s usual hooker Jack Deeming who was unusually unavailable. With Ed Cole, Rob Featherstone and Reece Cook also absent, Hull looked lighter than usual in the forwards.
With this in mind the home side looked to their backs early on, with smart play from Captain Johnta Nkonjera releasing the speed of wingers Brandon Stead and Connor Hamilton down the flanks. Hull’s centres also flourished, with Danny Banks’ deft skills dove-tailing beautifully with Andy Angell’s trademark powerful drives. Hull’s quick play saw them make swift headway through the Withernsea line, and it was only minutes after Kick Off that good footwork from the Skipper saw Johnta go over for the first try of the game.
Withernsea looked slow to regroup from this early setback, with the aggression of young flanker Barnaby Teasdale soon winning back possession. Several quick phases later and winger Connor Hamilton broke the line, evading 4 would-be defenders to race 60 metres for Hull’s 2nd try. With Johnta adding the extras, Hull were now sat on a promising early lead.
The restart saw Hull finally put under some pressure, but strong defending as always from Dane Campbell, Alex Neave and Harry Hodgson held the Hull line firm. The visitors themselves were found guilty of some bad handling errors out wide, but just when it looked like the breakthrough wouldn’t come a clever dummy left the Hull defence flat footed for the Withernsea 10 to race through.
In previous games Hull’s nerves at conceding would have started to show, but the home team remained confident despite this set back. With the heat sweltering Hull rang the first of the changes, with Damo Radke getting some early respite after an early energy sapping shift.
The restart came and Hull once more got onto the front foot, with great work from Barnaby Teasdale both in attack and defence. Hull started brightly, pressing home their advantage out wide with some good play through the hands. Then, as has happened all too often this season, Hull shot themselves in the foot. After back chatting the referee once too often, Scrum half Steven Payne got himself sent off for once again speaking out of turn. The Hull team’s displeasure with their team mate was obvious, but with the game still in the balance the home team pressed on, scoring a further well worked try before half time.
The 2nd half saw Hull again try to rotate their players, with the heat taking its toll across a fast paced, well fought contest. With Hull down to 14 players, the team rallied as experienced player Ryan Holland took charge. With Barnaby continuing to lead front the front, and Oli Stead dropping in at scrum half Hull looked more balanced and, rather than kicking away possession (Scuba!) Hull started to retain the ball. A short spell from Jack Wadsworth, just returning from injury, helped the Hull forwards make strong headway, whilst in defence the work rate of Harry Hodgson, Dylan Bridges and Alex Neave was exceptional. There was even time for a cheeky chip from Dane Campbell, the Hull forward showing all the skills of a born 10, as he keeps telling us every week…
Withernsea continued to press, probing Hull’s flanks and looking to make their extra player count. A well placed kick down Hull’s left wing saw Brandon Stead lose out in the footrace for a well worked try, and Hull’s comfortable lead started to shrink.
The home team hit back, a great solo run from Centre Danny Banks dragging Hull to within 30 metres, and whilst Withernsea initially regained possession a spilt ball saw the ball fly hacked through after some messy contesting on the ground. Hull reacted the quickest, with Connor Hamilton racing ahead of his much older and better looking team mate to score (some would say steal) his second try of the game.
Withernsea regrouped but Hull had a new found confidence about their play. Refusing to let the loss of a player affect them, they hung on for a much needed victory.
There may have been some real lows across the season, but sat in the sun afterwards, a beer in hand and surrounded by some great team mates, days like this are what rugby is all about.
Hull 2nd Team
1. Damo Radke
2. Aaron Richardson
3. Dane Campbell
4. Harry Hodgson
5. Dylan Bridges
6. Alex Neave
7. Barnaby Teasdale
8. Ryan Holland
9. Steven “Keep your mouth shut” Payne
10. Johnta Nkonjera (c)
11. Brandon Stead
12. Danny Banks
13. Andy Angell
14. Connor Hamilton
15. Oli Stead
16. Jason Williams
17. Jack Wadsworth

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