Our new team's first game was against a much more experienced Southwell side, a team who have been playing together for a number of years as opposed to our training together for a number of weeks.
Despite a good warm up the signs were ominous when the visitors winged the ball out wide and caught Hykeham napping to register a quick score. They then quickly returned to our 22 for a period of sustained pressure which resulted in another score.
Some wise words from Hykeham's team of coaches galvanised the lads into action and a direct game was quickly established, a number of forwards crashing through tackles only to be let down by slow support. Eventually Brandon Gregory made the decisive break though to register the team's first score.
A pattern was quickly established the visitors moving the ball wide to their pacey full back whist Hykeham took a more direct close quarters route with strong runs, and with the forwards getting dominance in the scrums this resulted in a sharp pick-up and run from Tom Credland resulting in a second try. Unfortunately Southwell added a further score when their full back fielded a kick on the right touch, ran across the pitch to the left untouched to score whilst Hykeham were slow to react leaving the half time score 17-10
A broken collar bone suffered by Southwells prop meant that scrums we now uncontested, an area where Hykeham had been dominant. This meant the visitors were able to move the ball away from the scrum unhindered allowing them to whip the ball wide where they held the advantage. Further scores out wide for the visitors gave them the upper hand and things became fractious as they struggled to contain Hykeham's stronger runners. Eventually good running resulted in a second try for Gregory capping a fine performance; this was converted by Tom Mcall.
A final score, this time at close quarters, for the visitors wrapped up the game.
Despite the defeat we should hold our heads up high, as a first game the lads showed character and perseverance. Once we add some nous and game understanding to our determined attitude the side will develop and improve.
Whilst the big runners and tacklers caught the eye, what impressed most was the fact that no-one shirked a tackle or backed out of a run, all players shone in a real team effort.
Training occurs on Thursdays at the Memorial Fields on Newark Rd. Go to www.hykehamrugby.com for more information.