Scrum half jinx costs Whitby against leaders

Whitby U17s put in a determined display against leaders Wharfedale

Whitby U17s put in a determined display against leaders Wharfedale

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WHITBY Rugby Club under 17s entertained high-flying Wharfedale, who were unbeaten so far and had beaten Whitby in the first game of the season, last Sunday.

Whitby kicked off uphill on the White Leys pitch and were soon on the attack with Alex Beaumont getting the ball in the first couple of minutes and scoring a fine solo try after a 75m run.

Whitby U17s put in a determined display against leaders Wharfedale

Whitby U17s put in a determined display against leaders Wharfedale

This try was converted by Sam Webster.

Whitby continued to push forward, gaining yards through the pack but were dealt a blow on 20 minutes when they lost scrum half Connor Clennan with a neck injury.

Whitby had to shuffle the team and move full back Chester Nixon to scrum half.

This disruption led to Wharfedale scoring two quick tries to take a 10-7 lead.

Whitby U17s put in a determined display against league leaders Wharfedale

Whitby U17s put in a determined display against league leaders Wharfedale

Whitby then seemed to settle down, starting to push Wharfedale back and gaining in confidence but this period was short-lived as another injury, this time to replacement scrum half Chester Nixon, saw Whitby having to move positions again.

This time, utility player Adam Nixon took the jinxed position.

Whitby were feeling the pressure as the half-time whistle approached and only several outstanding defensive tackles by Jack Braithwaite kept Wharfedale out.

However, the pressure eventually told and a defensive error allowed Wharfedale to score for 7-17.

The second half started with Wharfedale reapplying the pressure and Whitby again needed the defensive abilities of Braithwaite to prevent them scoring.

On one of the Wharfedale attacks, Adam Nixon tripped one of the Wharfedale players, resulting in them being awarded a penalty try and the player being sin-binned.

Whitby were using their fourth scrum half of the day when the versatile Braithwaite took over the position.

Whitby’s forwards were started to exert pressure, winning ball and pushing towards the line several times but were held up just short.

Steven Cuthbert took the ball and drove towards the tryline, being stopped just short but getting the ball to Ryan Vasey who scored Whitby’s second try.

But in setting up the try, Cuthbert received a knock to the head which resulted in him suffering concussion and being taken to hospital for observation.

Whitby lost one of their most valuable players and this disrupted them further.

From the restart, Wharfedale got the ball and ran in another try.

Whitby tried to stage a comeback and they started to move the ball around. A crash ball move saw Alex Beaumont get the ball and dive over for his second try.

But the final act was another defensive mistake leading to Wharfedale finishing the game with another try for 19-33 at the whistle.

Although Whitby got beaten by the Yorkshire League leaders, they put together a determined display, playing some good rugby but were hit by the loss of three influencial players.

Try scorers: Alex Beaumont 2, Ryan Vasey; conversion: Sam Webster; man of the match: Jack Braithwaite