Acorn 28 Underbank 44
A poor opening 25 minutes cost Acorn dearly
A poor opening 25 minutes cost Acorn dearly as they slumped to their third defeat in a row and second consecutive 40 plus points conceeded, when going down 28- 44 at home to high flying Underbank Rangers in their latest NCL Division one game.
You could have been forgiven for thinking the opening quarter here,was in fact a continuation of the final quarter the week earlier away at Hunslet Club Parkside.
Fielding a side with no fewer then 6 changes from the 17 the previous week, Acorn found their Huddersfield based opponents on fire from the start , when they struck as early as the 2nd minute, when quick hands from left to right saw right winger Sam Ansell squeeze in at the corner for an unconverted try.
Their lead was doubled on 17 minutes when Underbank executed the same free flowing passing play perfectly and Ansell was the beneficiary once more , when he acrobatically dived in the corner for his second unconverted try in a row.
Their and Ansell's third unconverted try came on 23 minutes, when a poor tactical kick at the end of an Acorn attacking set , was fielded easily by Ansell who then toyed with several would-be Acorn tacklers before finishing off a 60m return by going in another 4 pointer.
Finally they managed to notch their first 6 pointer, when on 25 minutes they capitalized on lack of urgency in the Acorn right hand edged defensive unit following an Underbank high bomb. They allowed the ball to bounce and failure to diffuse it allowed the determination of Australian second rower Billy Rogers to bring him his sides 4th try of the half and the first successful conversion from the boot of scrum half Richard Pogson - to push the visitors into a clear 0-18 lead.
On the half hour mark, Underbank had moved into a 24-0 lead when yet another missed tackle allowed the visitors to create the space from ,where substitute forward Luke Roberts was on hand to race over at the side of the posts for a Pogson goaled try.
Acorn knew that they couldn't afford a slow start to this half, if they were to be more competitive as far as the scoreboard was concerned.
Finally after 125 scoreless minutes Acorn got on the scoreboard when returning centre Gareth Singleton crashed over for a try which stand off Anthony Chilton added the conversion to.
Minutes later and Acorn were on a roll, when second rower Brandon Harris cut the perfect angled line to race in unopposed from 30 meters out for a try which Chilton A added the conversion to - giving us a score line of 12- 24 in the visitors favour.
Once again Acorn were punished for ball watching, when the irritating but impressive Pogson chipped over and regathered before planting the ball down for a try he himself converted to push his side into a decisive 12 - 30 lead.
To their credit Acorn refused to let their visitors run away with it completely, and they notched their third converted score of the half ,when on 55 minutes Substitute hooker Nick Speck went over from the acting half role for Chilton A goaled try which cut Underbanks lead to 18-30.
The impossible suddenly became a possibility when on 59 minutes a stunning break on the half way line by Brandon Harris, saw the player race 40 metres before putting center Ryan Gallacher in for an unconverted try in the corner,giving us an interesting 22-30 score line.
Alas Acorn were unable to continue their revival and on 62 minutes Pogson created the space from where loose forward Craig Williams was on hand to score a try at the side of the posts, which Pogson then added the conversion to.
Underbank moved into a 22-40 lead , when on 64 minutes Acorn were guilty of several missed tackles that allowed Billy Rogers the chance to score his second try of the game.
Underbank were now on a roll and Acorns much improved second half showing was in danger of being forgotten under an avalanche of points conceeded, when on 73 minutes a Mix up following another end of sets kick saw left winger Courtney Allette go in for a try out wide that put Acorn behind by 22-44.
Fortunately Acorn responded with a pride inspired finale that brought them their fifth try of the game , when on 78 minutes acting half Nick Speck darted over for his second score of the game.
Chilton A added the conversion to give us a final scoreline of Acorn 28 - Underbank Rangers 44.
Acorn will draw a lot of confidence from their second half showing, when impressive performances from MOTM Harris, winger Matty Downes and forwards Endersby & Speck gave Acorn a foothold in a contest they had struggled to in the first half.
Underbank always had the edge thanks mainly to the dominant performances of hooker Sam Rochford, scrum half Pogson and the second row pairing of Rogers and American Casey Clark.