Match Report - vs. Sheffield Hawks

Saturday’s Sheffield derby against the Hawks was much anticipated, the local rivalry and eagerness to play good rugby league could be felt on and off the pitch.

In the first twenty minutes, both teams came out fighting, though Forgers showed signs of over-excitedness and made some mistakes which resulted in relieving the pressure on the Hawks side after some solid work. A chance to score in the Forgers first set went begging, which could have changed the entire complexion of the game, albeit for the ball to spill at a critical moment going for the line. The Forgers then completed a good set with the ball, but failed to chase well and then invited Hawks on to run and gain yards. They managed to get a roll on and scored a few tries to go 16-0 up.


However the Forgers completed some solid sets of attacking and defence which definitely shook the Hawks side up, but ultimately it was the consistency of these sets that let the Forgers team (who were doing all the right things) down. Before half time, the Forgers started to work their way right back into the game when they grounded themselves and settled down and played some good rugby. A fantastic bit of on the line defending held the Hawks out, including a salmon-like leap from Nick Roberts to take a high bomb on the last tackle even in attendance of 3 Hawks players, only for the referee to mention he was in-goal even though he clearly landed the right side of the tryline. This was followed by some great efforts from the edges, backed up by some powerful runs from our middle men who started to find their fronts with the ball and laid the platform well, and this meant the tide started to turn in the favour of the Forgers with Ali Waring going in for a score before half time off a great well-worked play - a score of 16-4. with the Hawks clinging on before the end of the half asking the referee how long was left regularly.


In the second half, The Forgers continued to pretty much follow on from the back end of the first half. The game plan they had discussed and worked on started to pay off, and it resulted in the Forgers continually opening the Hawks up on the edges with good shape and great handling. The Forgers drew level on 20 all after tries from Stuart Stogden (2), one on a planned move on the edge, the second was a clean break against the tiring Hawks players to round the Hawks fullback with a bit of an interesting celebration on the way to the line, which brought up a fair amount of laughter from the travelling Forgers support, and Josh Freeman who scored from a great offload off a second great expansive move. with two tries converted by Aaron Lane with the boot.


At this point, there were a few situations where the Forgers got over the line - 3 times in fact - alas the referee wasn't positioned very well and each one was called short... And a great expansive play that got Adam Giles out on the edge, who was shoulder charged in the act of diving for the corner which should have given a penalty try, that was seemingly missed. In the last twenty minutes, the Forgers simply ran out of gas, a combination of early-season match fitness and the sheer weight of decisions that didn't go their way took it's toll and gave the Hawks the advantage they needed to take the game to a 46 – 20 win, but an extremely competitive game despite the flattering scoreline.


The Forgers were a little disappointed with the performance at the end, and on reflection they are a much better side than the scoreline suggested. The team-work and dedication showed in the game and the preparation before it showed throughout the match, and the spirit of the team was not lost (which can be seen in the team picture above - everyone still smiling!) and certainly look like a very close group.


Coach Chris Coates said:


“Whilst the result and performance isn't what we set out as our standards at the start of the year, the spirit with the boys is excellent. We win together, we lose together - and we're on the journey together. The amount of potential here with the quality of the blokes we have? We have a lot to come. I'm sure we'll be picking up the bragging rights to the city soon enough if we keep progressing the way we are, and we'll have a smile on our faces every week working for each other.”


Man of the match rankings for the game going to the forgers Man of Steel award were as follows:

1: Josh Freeman with 3 points
2: Cameron Halliwell with 2 points
3: Casimir Abaka-Nyarko with 1 point


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