15th January 1XV Report: Derby 53-10 Belgrave

It was a dramatic change from last week’s performance as the players responded to the words of Mark Bradley by making a fast start and keeping up the tempo throughout the game.  It was a magnificent team spirit, which produced a single-minded approach and unity of spirit.  It might sound like a nine-try demolition of Belgrave but it was not.  Derby had to put heroic effort in to defending their line against a side which kept competing to the end.

It was attacking rugby from the start and five minutes in, Sam Tebbs shuffled and shimmied his way past a wrong-footed defence for a try converted by Lewis Hancock.  Minutes later Josh Ridley rose high to steal a 5-metre lineout, a sign of determination against bigger opponents.  From a quickly taken penalty, Josh Tizard made ground before passing to Pat Burke who galloped to the try line for a try, once again converted by Lewis Hancock from a long way out.  This unsettled the visitors and when their stand-off, Jack Kyle, disputed the referee’s judgment, things only got worse for them.  From the ensuing lineout, quick passing set Callum Jones on a fifty-metre run for the line.  Before the interval, a great break by Ethan Pearson sent Patrick Burke away for his second try converted by Hancock, giving Derby a 26 points lead at the whistle.

By now Derby had clocked the Belgrave use of the high lob ball at the lineouts and successfully put them under pressure.  The hard grafting of the engine room boys, Charlie Barker and Tom Antrobus began to show dividends.  From a lineout after only three minutes, Josh Bingham, threw a long pass to Callum Jones and he repeated his charge to the line for his second try.  When Josh Harvey was given a Yellow Card, he was replaced by Mike Johns, and Juda Simpson was taken off.  Derby forwards made light of being a man down.  From some good inter passing, Sam Tebbs off loaded inside to the supporting Josh Tizard  to score out wide.  Belgrave then exploited the man advantage when Jack Kyle squeezed over for an unconverted try.  Ryan Milton joined the game from the bench and showed that getting married had not slowed him down.  Another Derby penalty was quickly taken but a missed pass bobbled on the ground before Captain, Andy Brown, chipped it ahead, collected it and sprinted for a try converted by Hancock.  From a 5-metre scrum Belgrave drove for the line and skipper, Elliott Walker, scored near the posts.  Surprisingly the conversion was missed.  In the dying minutes Sam Tebbs crossed for his second try and Andy Brown touched down also for his second try to end a great afternoon’s team performance played at a very high tempo.  It was a fitting end to a very entertaining game of Corinthian rugby.

Report by: Gerry Sherry