The fiercest rivalry in World Rugby League made it’s long awaited competitive return after a ten year hiatus, and what an atmosphere it was in a sold out Stadium, despite the Sky driven 12.30 kick off.
The place was absolutely pumping and this was the best sporting occasion I have ever attended in our great City. Just brilliant and without an ounce of the malice generated by soccer.
A massive Derby and with broiling emotions, but not one Copper in sight. It just swells my heart with pride in our people and the respect we have for one another.
Reasons? The Clubs really do reflect and represent the Communities they serve, thus there isn’t the distance between the fans and the players on the park. And the huge female presence, whilst not diluting the fabulously potty mouthed humour, ensures that no one does owt too stupid. They’d never live it down for a start.
It was a truly spectacular and special occasion and it was a total privilege to be there.
Female rugby league fashion is a one off. The girls dress for a night out complete with outrageous stilettos, boots, tight skirts and plenty of slap finishing the look with the Club shirt of their choice. Amazing and quite unique I reckon.
The game was a mightily nervous affair and the unforced error count would have disgraced a National League Two relegation scrap, never mind SuperLeague. Rovers suffered the most in the early stages as FC crossed twice in the wake of bad KR rearguard mistakes.
Poor Jon Goddard dropped a Cooke high ball and from the resulting scrum the Robins supporting FC stand off spun out a wicked pass to put the rampaging Tickle over. Then Byron Ford needlessly knocked on at the play the ball, Cooke again taking full advantage and Briscoe did the rest.
Rovers simply have to wise up. As I stated early in the season, they are far too naive and canny sides will take advantage.
Example. Following the Goddard dropped bollock, the Black and Whites exerted a great deal of pressure which resulted in the Ford error.
In the second half the Robins had FC under the cosh, but the Airlie Birds pushed their luck with Mr.Ganson (who had a good game) regarding lying on, messing around in the ruck and offside. Not pretty, but it disrupted the flow of the game enough to force the error from the visitors.
Clichés involving this being a result business spring to mind.
KR, however stormed back into the game in the second half having cut the deficit to 12-4 at the turn around, Webster putting Dyer in just before the break and at 16-14 the game was anyone’s for the taking.
Poor kicking from both sides, goals and from the hand hampered progress and the Robins two missed conversions proved costly.
FC scored the try of the match as Motu Tony and Matt Sing combined to go the length of the field with the later finishing from yet another Cooke set up.
If I am absolutely honest, this was a poor game technically, despite all the Derby excuses and both teams need to drastically improve. FC have enough quality to get by, but KR are no longer the novelty act and have been worked out due to computer analysis and I fear for their safety.
I was delighted by the result, but I desperately want Rovers to do well so we can gorge ourselves on such occasions on a more regular basis.