11 November 2022 2XV Report: Derby 31-26 Melbourne

Under lights and in front of large crowds of partisan supporters of both sides this important league game started at high speed. It was Melbourne’s, Joe Lucas, the 3-Counties Colt who crossed in the corner after only three minutes. On form with the boot, Josh Peach added a penalty. The fast pace of the game contributed to several unforced errors and poor passes by both sides. However, when Derby’s scrum half, Cameron Finlay, avoided the clutches of his opposite number, his acceleration took him clear of the defence before running round the fullback for a try under the posts. Tom Bigford converted but Peach kicked a penalty to extend Melbourne’s lead. Approaching the interval, a Rhys Colrien cross-kick was caught by Ryan Milton, who sped through for an unconverted try to give Derby a one-point lead at the break.

Three minutes after the restart, Milton got his second try, converted by Bigland but once again, Peach kicked a penalty. A decisive decision by prop, David Cowell, to run straight and hard gave his fellow forwards a platform to work from and gain ground. From a lineout, Turton cut through for a try which Peach also converted to restore Melbourne’s narrow lead. Tries by Dee Mc Manus and Dan Woods, one of which Bigland converted gave Derby ten points lead. However, a final attack saw Melbourne’s Archie Turton dive over in the corner.
Overall, it was an exciting and entertaining game with a result that confirms Derby as league leaders.

Report by: Gerry Sherry
Photos by Mark Dunn – full Gallery