CRAIG FARRELL’S COLUMN: It’s a family affair for Nick

Reggie Rabbit
Reggie Rabbit
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Congratulations to Scarborough Pirates who clinched the Yorkshire Men’s Group Four title last weekend with an ultimately comfortable 42-22 victory over Hull Dockers, owing in no small part to a Regan Stirk hat-trick.

That triumph takes the Pirates’ tally for the season to 10 wins from 10 and gives them an insurmountable 12-point lead with just two league games remaining; their final home game against Myton Warriors on 18 August and their final game of the season away at Sheffield Hillsborough Hawks on September 1, both of which I’m sure they’ll be desperate to win in order to seal the ‘perfect’ season.

Of Saturday’s victory Pirates’ team manager, Dave Marsden said “It was a bitty game that we never looked like losing but we made hard work of it.”

“There were lots of positives though, Tom Ratcliffe was fantastic for us and we’re obviously delighted to have won the league. The boys have worked very hard for this and deserve their success.”

Marsden also singled out the Bridlington RUFC trio of Regan Stirk, James Thompson and Martin Robinson for individual praise.

“Reggie’s (Stirk) hat-trick had a touch of class and Big Jim (Thompson) and Robbo (Robinson) were great too. Bridlington RUFC should be the team to beat next season at union.”

The Pirates’ title success this season is the first in 20 years for a senior rugby league team from the town and marks a great achievement for coach, Chris Keld’s young charges, who have largely been together as a group of players from junior rugby, with one or two exceptions.

And speaking of players who have grown up together, Bradford Bulls’ Tom Burgess has announced this week that he is set to join up with his three brothers Sam, Luke and twin, George, at South Sidney Rabbitohs for the 2013 season.

He said: “It’s been a lifetime dream for us all to play together. We’re all really close so I’ve missed not having them about.”

Scarborough Pirates’ Nick Burgess, cousin to Tom, George, Luke and Sam was delighted at the prospect of all four brothers playing for the same team.

Nick said: “It’s fantastic for the family, they’re all great lads and brilliant players and it’ll be really special if and when they’re all on the same field together in the NRL.

“My boys, Harry and Charlie, look up to them like heroes and they can’t wait to see them all together on TV.”

Asked if he thought that his surname would be sufficient to get him a deal in the NRL Burgess quipped: “Well I was always better than them when we were kids and you never really lose it so I’m just waiting for a contract in the post any day now.”

Unfortunately for ‘Burge’ the Rabbitohs’ player roster looks full for the 2013 season and so the role of Souths’ mascot, Reggie the Rabbit may be his only opportunity to join his cousins in Sydney. But having witnessed him, first-hand, whipping up the annual St Catherine’s Hospice Stars in Their Eyes crowd into a frenzy and showing off his dance moves I’m sure it would be a role he’d excel in!

Finally, if not strictly rugby league related, I’d like to publicly congratulate to Howard Acklam who received an honorary life membership of Scarborough RUFC at their AGM recently.

I have known Howard for many years, having been coached by him as a teenager and having played with his late son, Chris.

Howard has been involved with Scarborough RUFC since he was eight-years-old and undertaken almost every role imaginable at the club during that time, including that of president.

Howard is a true gentlemen; committed, honourable, genial and dignified, and this honour is thoroughly deserved.