SIMON SMITH: Losing Tom is a huge blow for us

Simon Smith
Simon Smith

There were a number of positives to take from Saturday’s superb win at home to Old Brodleians.

However, despite coming away with our best win of the season, the injury suffered by Tom Harrison with a couple of minutes left leaves a sour taste in the mouth.

Tom was on the wrong side of the ruck and in my playing days you’d expect to get rucked out and stood on, but the modern game doesn’t allow for it.

I think if the incident had been earlier on then there is a distinct possibility that their man would have been shown a red.

Tom is without doubt one of the best number 10s in Yorkshire One, but we are exceptionally lucky to have another superb fly-half at the club in Phil Stewart.

Phil has a lot of first-team experience, his ball distribution is excellent and he knows our patterns of play well too.

Saturday’s game against Brods’ was always going to be tough after our win at their place a week earlier.

They’d have been preparing all week to combat our strengths, and it was obvious they came with a gameplan to try and intimidate a number of our younger players, who stood up to the challenge magnificently.

Our forwards were outstanding and I thought Billy Parker was superb.

Conditions weren’t in our favour and we couldn’t play our usual game, but the guys were brilliant and to only concede five points in the first half playing into a gale was phenomenal.

That laid the platform for the second half and we were good value for our win.

Billy Parker crossed the gain line on numerous occasions and we recycled the ball well from these charging runs.

I thought Paul Taylor was impressive too, he is an unorthodox prop, his strength is at set-pieces, and they couldn’t handle his raw power.

I was particularly pleased with how the pack performed.

They’re not a particularly heavy pack, but they fronted up and met the challenge head on.

That has been one of the most pleasing aspects of our season so far for me, the way the guys have fronted up and refused to back down or be bullied.

We’ll need to maintain our standards at Old Rishworthians on Saturday, as it will no doubt be another tough game.