Young Maroons avenge earlier defeat

Kyle Woods evades a Coimbra tackler
Kyle Woods evades a Coimbra tackler

WHITBY made the long journey south to the University city of Coimbra on Palm Sunday for the second game of their tour, looking to avenge their initial defeat by CRAV.

Despite the three hours of travel and late arrival at the ground, the Maroons settled quickly and took control within the first quarter.

Strong forward play giving the backs plenty of good possession.

However, sloppy handling and poor decision-making meant they were unable to capitalise.

Whitby really should have scored twice in this period and that would have settled the game in the early stages.

In the second quarter, Coimbra grew in confidence, making some serious inroads into the visitors territory.

Superb defence from forwards Kyle Woods, Michael McCormack, Joe Russell and Connor Clements, however, kept them at bay.

A succession of home side scrums put the Maroons under enormous pressure, but great tackling on the Coimbra number eight by scrum half Barney Fountain stifled any potential threat.

Eventually though, the pressure told and a strong break from the Coimbra inside-centre opened the score with an unconverted try. This was followed by a penalty to the hosts for offside offence at a ruck, taking the score to 8-0.

Despite the intense heat, the visitors turned up the pressure as the third quarter began and the backs began to make inroads with Brad Coulman, Jack Cooper, Josh Wilson and Tom Woods all making incisive breaks, with John Jackson coming into scrum half, supplying excellent ball.

With Whitby camped in Coimbra’s 22, the ball was spun out wide through the backs and outside centre Cooper looped around winger Wilson to score in the left corner.

From the restart, the Maroons once again carried the attack to Coimbra with some great rolling mauls through Luke Brown, Ed Welford and Bruce Reed. Time after time they were held up a metre short of the home side’s tryline by a great defence.

However this sustained pressure was eventually converted to point when Luke Brown crashed through a weary opposition to score the winning try.

The final quarter saw Fountain come on at scrum half for the excellent Jackson and although Whitby strove to extend their lead, the home side came back strongly in an attempt to overturn their narrow deficit and it required some tremendous tackling from Tom Woods, James Grimont, Kyle Woods and Nathan Kaz to hand the Maroons a well-deserved victory.

Whitby’s great travelling supporters were rewarded with an excellent, hard-fought win in this final junior game, making the long return journey to Arcos much more bearable.

Tries: Jack Cooper, Luke Brown; man of the match: Luke Brown - great all round game; superb ball carrying and tackled all around the park. He finished off with a match-winning try.

Coimbra U16s 8 Whitby U15s/16s 10