Rugby League is a relatively new sport to Roses, debuting last year at York. Whilst the sport was not worth any points last year, it was understandable considering how young the York University Rugby League society were at the time.
This year however, the Roses Rugby League game was allocated 4 points and a considerable crowed massed to watch the favourites, Lancaster Lynx, take on The York Raiders.
First blood was drawn by Lancaster as prop forward Sam Hudson wrestled an arm free to offload the ball to fullback Paddy Boyers, who crashed under the sticks, scoring the first try of the game. Lancaster’s kickers Matty Canavan and Matt Tye were on form with the boot slotting close to ten kicks over the posts between them.
From there on, Lancaster showed their maturity over York, having been around for fifty three years to York’s two. Hooker Chris Russell showed his exceptional speed and agility to bag two tries in the first half of the game, one by throwing an outrageous dummy, and the second using his feet to beat three defenders.
It was then that York seemed to collect themselves and score some points of their own. Despite being such a young team, some slick hands by the halfbacks and an impressive offload out wide saw the York winger go over in the corner. Later on, quick reactions saw an alert York player pick up a loose ball and run half the pitch to cross under the sticks.
Unfortunately for York, Lancaster were in full stride and did not look ready to crumble. Fullback Boyers struck again, muscling his way over the line, followed shortly by tries from loose forward Nathan O’Conner and prop forward Hudson who also barged his way over the whitewash.
The second half saw Lancaster continue to dominate as halfbacks Jacob Brookes-Ashton and Finlay Morriss orchestrated an unstoppable offence. Forwards Simon Vale, Jake Guria-Garnett, Samuel Griffiths and Daniel Percival made countless yards, Griffiths putting in some bone crunching tackles.
Again Boyers went over the try line having latched on to a well-weighted short ball from O’Conner. Shortly after, the fullback put another four points on the board, beating York’s second row and out-pacing the fullback to score his fourth and final try.
Lancaster cruised to a convincing 52-10 win scoring once more when Lewis Whitfield grounded the ball out wide. The game as a whole was entertaining to watch, if you were supporting Lancaster that is, and it is hoped that the fixture will maintain its place on the schedule next year.