Scarborough continued their impressive start to the season with a convincing 33-10 win at Barnsley last Saturday in a game played in 27 degree heat at Shaw Lane.
Coach Jason Lowde’s side continued to play the attractive handling rugby which has been the hallmark of the ex-first team prop’s short reign.
The men from Silver Royd lost the services of farm worker Luke Raines who was called upon to get the harvest in and Paul Taylor came in at prop with veteran Tom Fish on the bench.
Three tries all from forwards; prop Nino Cutino, number eight Phil Austen and open-side Ben Wilson clinched the deal with Tom Ratcliffe turning in a 100 per cent kicking effort with 18 points from the boot. It was no stroll in the sun by any means and Lowde will have to address his side’s tendency to doze off either side of the break and their lack of success at the line-out which so far has not been a productive part of their game.
It’s early days yet but Scarborough are currently fourth in Yorkshire One and they’ll look to improve on that when Halifax-based side Heath are the visitors to Silver Royd on Saturday.
The west Yorkshiremen are currently languishing near the bottom of the table; they were trounced 50-6 on the opening day of the season at Wath which was surprising as Giles Hetherington their long-time fly-half has returned from a season at Bradford & Bingley where he was their leading try scorer.
Last week Hetherington scored a try in Heath’s 24-17 home defeat by Driffield.
Last season honours were even with Heath winning at home before Christmas and Scarborough taking the points at Silver Royd.
With this paper now a weekly, deadlines dictate that I’m unable to carry team selections in this column.
However, I’m certain that Coach Lowde will be hoping that ‘all is safely gathered in’ and Luke Raines can return to his place in the Scarborough front row and that Graeme Jeffrey has come through his first outing of the season unscathed and is available for selection this week.
Man-of-the-match at Barnsley Nino Cutino sustained a nasty nose injury in that game, so is doubtful for Saturday.
Having been the club’s leading try scorer last season, Scarborough’s Tom Ratcliffe has only bagged one touchdown so far in the opening games of the season.
However, you can’t keep a good man down and the dual-code player has taken over kicking duties for the Seasiders.
Following a summer of kicking goals for fun for the Scarborough Pirates; the big centre has carried on where he left off in the 13 man game kicking a total of 40 points in the opening three games of the Union season.
He never missed a kick in last Saturday’s 33-10 win at Barnsley and his ability to turn five points into seven and keep the scoreboard ticking over with his penalties has given his teammates confidence in his abilities with the boot as well as with ball in hand.
I asked Tom on Monday why he hadn’t come forward for kicking duties last season?
He replied that “Although I had the kicking duties when I played league at Uni, I thought that Tom (Harrison) was a good kicker and I’d stay in the background as far as the boot was concerned.”
Harrison’s lay-off with injury at the back end of last season saw him step up to the plate and the Silver Royd favourite hasn’t looked back since.
He has assured me however that he is looking to continue where he left off last season with ball in hand. Amen to that.