CRAIG FARRELL: Pirates going from strength to strength

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Saturday proved to be a great day to be a Scarborough Pirate with both the first and second teams earning hard-fought victories against tough opposition.

Coach Adam Lee took his first team on the road to Normanton Knights and came away victorious, with what looks on the surface to be a comfortable 30-14 scoreline.

However, the 16-point margin belies the tightness of a game in which the Pirates only took control in the final 10 minutes, after all too often allowing their opponents to remain within touching distance by forcing a pass or giving away needless penalties.

Ultimately though the Pirates’ quality shone through, particularly that of Billy Parker, whose countless tackle busts and line-breaks provided his team mates with the platform for victory, a platform which was also built upon by the selfless work of the big men in the pack.

Due to unavailabilities and injuries the Pirates were left with only three fit prop-forwards for the match, made all the more difficult with the sweltering midday sun.

Nick Burgess, captain Dave Douthwaite (pictured right) and Alex Conlin all played long, hard stints, while Kieran ‘Hooch’ Tindall took one for the team and also stepped up to the front row to share the workload through the middle of the pitch.

He played exceptionally well, carrying the ball hard and showing great footwork at the defensive line to earn quick play the balls for his half-backs to play off the back of.

Another player who really caught the eye, particularly for his defensive work, was youngster, Nathan Hakings, whose enthusiasm and line speed shut down numerous Normanton attacks.

Both players are only young and are still learning the game but both look set to make a big impact for the Pirates during the rest of the season.

Saturday was also my first outing of this campaign and was a match I was really looking forward to getting stuck into.

However, it took me longer to tape up my thumbs and an ear wound before the game than I actually lasted during it.

My aging and creaking body gave up on me just six minutes into the match when I aggrevated the calf injury that had kept me out of the season’s opening couple of fixtures.

The mind is willing and able, the body, it seems, is not.

There is nothing wrong with the minds and bodies of the young Scarborough Pirates second team though, they overcame a much fancied York Lokos side at Eastway, in a compelling match which ended with a scoreline 26-24.

The Pirates’ second team’s victory was made all the more impressive due to having been reduced to 12 men in the first-half after a needless red card.

York coach Jon Hough was full of praise for the young Pirates’ second string, pointing to their greater desire and enthusiasm as the key factors in their narrow win.

He also singled out James ‘Bullhead’ Fleming, Tom Read, Joe Hitchcock and Alex Collins as four of the Pirates’ top performers.

The most bizarre story of this week emerged from Australia on Monday, as New Zealand Warriors’ forward Russell Packer was caught live by the Fox TV cameras urinating on the pitch during the first-half of their match with Brisbane Broncos.

The masses were quick to take to Twitter to air their views on Packer, who appeared to take the attention and the incident in his stride, Tweeting “Good win when u gotta go u gotta go lol” @Russell_Packer

No doubt some people will sympathise with Packer, after all, when you’re in the middle of an intense athletic pursuit it’s not always easy to put off answering the call of nature, just ask Paula Radcliffe.

Some people on the other hand, will clearly think Packer’s actions were clearly taking the ... micky.