Exciting Draw Following Strong Hoppers Comeback

Date: 20 November 2017

Cotton Traders Championship – PGRFC 3rd XV 24 – 24 Macclesfield 3rd XV

The sun was shining on the AGP as Hoppers 3rd XV welcomed Macclesfield to Lightfoot Green. Hoppers were looking to come away with another W, having already won a closely fought encounter in the reverse fixture at the beginning of the season, and with the addition of Sam Whyte returning for the weekend.

Improving on recent weeks performances, Hoppers started well, working hard to keep ball in hand and dictate the flow of play. Unfortunately, a slight lapse in defensive communication put the home team down by 5 points. The boys in blue and white rallied, and some well-structured phase play put them down in the oppositions 22m and a quick dart from scrum half Whyte levelled the scoring.

Macclesfield came back strongly and using their key strike runners took the score to 5-10.

More consistent play, and utilising the penalty count wracking up against Macclesfield, the Hoppers forwards set a solid platform, enough for Whyte to get his second of the day crossing the line with a classic Scrum Half snipe. With Captain Ellwood securing the additional 2 points, the home side went ahead for the first time in the match.

Just before half time the travelling side made use of dominant scrums across the field working their way to the Hoppers line and coming away with a full 7 points, taking the game to 12-17.

Shortly after the break, Macclesfield crashed their way through the home sides defence and once again added another 7 to their tally.

From here, the Hoppers boys rallied and started to utilise the width of the AGP against a tiring Macclesfield side. With the tight 5 securing the breakdown, and Whyte distributing quick ball, Ellwood drew in 2 defenders playing flat to the line. Playing a wide pass to Jonny Davies who was able to break the first line of defence and slip past the Full Back to touch down under the posts taking the game to 17-24.

Impact substitution Harry Foster carried well, bringing a fresh intensity to a Hoppers pack that had been hit by 2 injuries. But it was Marius Stanciu who cut a perfect line off the shoulder of Ellwood to break through 2 would be tacklers and outpacing the Macclesfield 15 to put another try under the posts, and with an easy conversion brought the game to 24-24.

With the final minutes of the game being played between each sides 22, neither team came close to scoring until the final minute when great defensive pressure from Hoppers secured a turnover, and Tom Kin drew in 2 defenders putting Jonny Davies round the outside, but his final pass to Marius didn’t go to hand and the final whistle blew.

MOM – Sam Whyte with a dominating performance from the 9 position and scoring 2 tries.

DOD – Tinny for his shocking attempted kick and getting himself knocked out / Jonny Davies for a shocking final pass. 

Would you like to play rugby for the Hoppers? We accommodate players of all ages and experiences, from new starters through to veterans looking to keep fit within an organised but fun environment. If you’re looking to start or return to the game then please contact the club by email on info@pgrfc.co.uk providing your contact details and we’ll get back to you straight away.
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