Pirates power past Birstall in first league clash of the season
Scarborough Pirates kicked off their league campaign with a 40-16 victory over Birstall Victoria.
Zac Metcalfe set the tone for the the game, putting in a huge hit, from then on the Pirates’ defence was brutal with James Love, Tom Read and Joe Messruther putting in big hits themselves.
Scarborough were first to get on the score-sheet, good play from half-back Chris Keld made a gap for the supporting Harry Sleep to cut through and score under the posts. The cconversion was added for a 6-0 lead.
Further pressure was then added by the Pirates and on the last tackle Scarborough crossed again, a pinpoint kick to the corner was collected in the air by winger Jamie Cornish and he crossed to make the score 10-0.
Birstall then struck back with a try of their own to make it 10-6.
Sleep then touched down again, good work from the base of the scrum from the returning Nathan Hakings drew in defenders and he put Sleep through to score under the posts for 16-6.
Next on the score-sheet was Keld, receiving the ball from the scrum, he dummied past three defenders before slicing through the defence to race into the corner for his first try of the season.
Birstall hit back through a try and penalty goal on the stroke of half-time for 22-12.
Keith Paddock asked his troops to stop forcing errors and revert back to basic rugby, he also subbed himself on and made an immediate impact.
Pressure from the forwards put the Pirates within 10 metres of the Victoria line and the ball was sent to the supporting Hakings for him to crash over the line carrying defenders with him. The conversion was added for 28-12.
Pirates then had to withstand pressure, firstly Victoria then crossed for a try to reduce the deficit to 12 points before they then intercepted a Pirates attack and thought they were in for another try.
Full-back Sleep had other ideas, chasing back the Birstall attacker cutting him down metres from the line.
Love then put in another big tackle, raising the Pirates’ morale.
The Pirates went down to the other end of the field for workhorse Metcalfe to cross for a trademark try, crashing over with numerous defenders on his back to take the score to 34-16.
Love then deservedly got himself on the score-sheet, quick play and good vision from hooker Corey Goodlad put Love through a massive hole in the defence.
He then galloped down the field showing his pace beating the full-back, Cornish added the conversion to make the final score 40-14.
Delighted coach Paddock said: “I was really happy with the performance and to get a win in our first league game.
“We had good structure for large periods of the game, but then we lost focus and became content when we should have been going for the jugular.
“But a win’s a win and if we can put that many points on a team when we are not firing on all cylinders, imagine what we will be like when we are 100%.”
There’s no game this weekend as York Locos are in a final, so the Pirates next host Leeds Akkies on May 5.