As the second team squad mount a real fight for the merit league trophy this year Hykeham travelled away to play Skegness 2nds XV who agreed generously to reverse the previous fixture. Hykeham were on a current run of defeats which was frustrating for the team who are challenging for the Merit League title this year.
The game started in cold, snowy and wet conditions which caused many unforced errors but at the first scrum both packs were solid. However Skegness had the better nudge on and out came the ball. Straight away some totally crunching tackles began to flow through from Hykeham's backs putting pressure on the Skegness forwards to get to the breakdown. The first 10 minutes were a stalemate in the middle of the pitch but as soon as Hykeham started to get settled and feed some clean ball through the forwards at the ruck and set piece to the backs Hykeham unleashed their first promising attack. Kyle Dowson on the wing scoring hykehams first try converted by Steve Quinlan.
From the restart Skegness put the pressure on with some awesome tackles and carries from both sides made this game an exciting spectical for anyone watching. Skegness' 10 putting foot to boot to pin Hykeham in there own 22 which led to a penalty and subsequent try, unconverted. This put the score at 7-5. There was a knock on straight from the following re-start from a Hykeham player giving Skegness good territory deep in Hykeham's half with some good running and phase play from forwards and backs alike Skegness scored again unconverted with the score at 10-7. Hykeham were getting very frustrated with how that second try come to pass and this forced them to up there game and begin turning the screw with some great running and carries from joint MOTM Harry Reid and Chris Smith. Smashing, poking and prodding their way through the Skegness defensive line to leave them them scrambling. The ball went out wide to Hykeham's superstar fullback Max Foster scoring under the posts converted by Quinlan. Hykeham started crashing straight through again using crash ball putting agonising pressure on the skegness forwards over and over again. After all the effort put in by the forwards it earn't hykeham a penalty which Quinny scored leaving the score at half time 17-10.
The talk at half time was all about adding an extra level of agression to the game and Hykeham didn't dissapoint. As the second half got under way Skegness looked tired and ineffective at the breakdowns and set-pieces with the forwards crashing through the defensive line and always breaking the gainline. Hykeham started to play real flowing running rugby looking like the team they were at the start of the season. The aggression requested was used to control Skegness' every attempt at a maul and and open play. The squad was strong. Always going forward, passing out to the backs to make the killer blow from all the pressure and attacks built by the pack. This led to hykehams 3rd try scored by Rob Sturge who amusingly didnt even realise he scored from the tap kick off. Quinlan missed the conversion, 22-10.
The Hykeham seconds just did it all again doing what they do best crashing the ball straight through the middle putting pressure on every Skegness player where ever they were positioned. This earned hykeham a scrum just inside the Skegness half way line. Number 8 Andy MaClelland who also played well, picked up made ground and offlaoded in the tackle to number 9 Quinlan who shifted the ball centre field to Danny Brown. Brown passed to Josh Barker who stepped and cut through Skegness' backs and scored Hykeham's 4th and final try leaving the final score at 29-10. I would also like to point out hykehams replacements that came on Darryl Smith, Adi Parke and debutant Dan 'the man' who played very well!
This result is testament to the great squad that has been built this season. One that is putting a real challenge for the Merit League in it's first season. New faces arrive weekly at the moment. If you fancy a little of the glory, training is Tuesdays at 6:45. Head to www.hykehamrugby.com for more details.