It is often said that you learn more in a loss than a victory and that is certainly to be hoped from a spirited 51-14 defeat for Beverley Under-15’s in their trip to West Park Leeds.
The boys in green win far more than they lose but facing last year’s Yorkshire Cup finalists packed with representative level players from 1 to 15 it was always going to be an uphill task to come away from Bramhope with a victory.
There was no shame in failing to do so and indeed they should draw much encouragement from a difficult away day. In the first half, it was truly an uphill task as the hosts used their knowledge of conditions to turn Beverley around and back down the hill towards their own line. There were five unanswered tries as the hosts racked up 29 points with free flowing fifteen man rugby, developed off the back of sensible use of the natural conditions to play the game deep in Beverley territory.
Beverley had been rocked by the loss of their skipper, Sam Bayes, to a serious injury that thankfully transpired not to be the broken leg initially feared; but already shorn of James Couttie to a long term injury before the match the Beavers were denied two of their stars that often dominate the headlines in their victories.
The team performance that transpired to produce two second half tries showed great testament to their development away from the reliance on individual talent and the rewards from hard work by their coaches on the training pitch. The first half had ended with a driving maul off the top of a lineout, never previously witnessed from the visitors, which took them over the try line only to be squeezed out to touch before the ball could be grounded. Undeterred, the same move was to bare fruit in the second half with a try for Henry Welpton as Beverley controlled the ball in the tight with more authority than is oft the case.
Sam Dulson and Tom Roberts were to the fore as to be expected but on a day not conducive to wide expansive running Beverley showed great maturity against the home sides rush defence using their powerful runners, Ben Lazenby and Logan Radford to attack the gain line with good angles at pace. Having drawn in their onrushing opponents a delightful piece of subtlety from fly half Louix Groman produced a try for Roberts as he touched down a perfectly weighted grubber kick behind the charging defence.
The visitors were to concede more tries as they went down 51-14 but there was much to be taken from the day.