Whitby Rugby Club opened their summer seven-a-side season with a great performance against the predominantly Fijian side based in Catterick.
Although the majority of this Maroon’s side were new to this rugby format, they adapted well to a fast, free-flowing style of play and were soon rewarded when Aaron Jones put Tyler Kay into space to round the opposition sweeper and score under the posts.
He duly converted to give Whitby a 7-0 lead.
ITC, as expected, came back strongly from the re-start and only determined tackling from Jones, Anth Craig and winger Josh Wilson, kept them at bay.
Their patience prevailed and when Mitch Cannon turned over possession in mid-field, Barney Fountain employed a chip and chase, out-sprinting the Fijian defence for a great solo score.
Clearly surprised to be so far behind, ITC stepped up a gear and immediately used their superior skilll and strength to blast over Whitby’s line for a converted try, cutting their deficit to five points.
From the restart, the Maroons kept possession well, moving the ball from wing to wing before Tyler Kay picked out Barney Fountain for yet another 50 metre try.
Just on the stroke of half-time, ITC once again replied with a converted try, taking the score to 17-14.
Captain Anth Craig made three substitutions to his rapidly tiring team, bringing on Grant Smith, Kyle Woods and Nathan Kaz.
However, ITC, clearly surprised to be behind at this point, also made three strong changes to immediate effect and with three quick, converted tries taking the score to 17-35, the game seemed to be slipping away from this young Maroons side.
As the game entered the last quarter, Whitby seemed to regain their composure, with Smith and Kaz linking well in open play and eventually Kyle Woods narrowed the deficit with a storming run up the right wing to score in the corner.
With time running out, it was left to the Fijians to have the final say in the match with their sixth try of the game taking the final score to Whitby 22 ITC 42.
This was a superb performance from this newly-formed squad, with each player contributing in both attack and defence.
However, for his sheer work rate and destructive tackling, man of the match went to prop Aaron Jones.
Whitby 22 ITC 42