Pray let it be a long time before we endure another afternoon like this. This was a truly awful game. There was plenty of huffing and puffing and it was all played in a good spirit but the quality hardly ever rose above the mediocre. What little constructive rugby there was came from Hullensians who fully deserved their comfortable victory. Beverley today were totally unrecognisable from the side that had hitherto performed so well this season. They were without their influential skipper Phil Duboulay and it showed. Without his commanding presence they lacked any ideas or cohesion until young Jacob Holmes came off the bench in the second half.
It took Beverley a quarter of an hour to get out of their own half for the first time. When at last two penalties did get them up to the Hullensians’ 22 they promptly fell behind. Hullensians counter attacked and wing Josh Langford gathered up a cleverly angled kick to race over. Langford with his exceptional speed was a constant problem for Beverley all afternoon. After 25 minutes he was put clear down the left from a scrum on halfway and easily outpaced the home defence to touch down under the posts for a second try. Full back Bobby Marrow added the conversion and Hullensians were now two scores ahead at 12-0.
Beverley were defending pretty well, none more so than Steve Wiggill who put in some big hits in the centre, but they could produce little in the way of attacking rugby and seldom looked like scoring. Isaac Keighley at number 8 foraged courageously but there was little cohesive action. Hullensians were doing almost all the attacking and five minutes before halftime increased their lead with a somewhat bizarre try when scrum half Chris Smith picked up the ball from a Beverley scrum five metres out and strolled over unopposed. They then very nearly had another when Langford was again racing to the line only to be brought back for a marginally forward pass.
Halftime came with Beverley trailing 17-0. If they were going to turn this round they would need to be getting on with it but there was no sign after the break of any improvement. In all areas they continued to be second best. Even their normally impressive lineout work was messy, the ball seldom finding its intended target with a straight throw.
Beverley continued to muster little in the way of effective attacking. Whenever Luke Hazell had the ball in his hands there was hope but Hullensians somehow managed to keep him at bay despite some enterprising counter-attacking. The arrival of Jacob Holmes off the bench to take over at fly half did produce an immediate impact. His spirited performance was perhaps the only uplifting aspect of a miserable afternoon for Beverley. He brought some spark to affairs and moved the ball slickly. Sadly much of the handling and passing outside him was beyond comment so little headway was made.
Against the odds Beverley did eventually get on the scoreboard with two tries. Both moves originated with Holmes. He and Hazell combined down the left to put James Graham away on a spirited run to the line and in the dying minutes he put Wiggill through with a clever inside pass for a late try which he converted. Sadly for Beverley Hullensians by then were already home and dry, Langford having scored his third try with a scorching run down the left touchline for a converted try under the posts.
After producing so much good rugby in their first three games this dismal showing by Beverley was something of a mystery and surely cannot be entirely attributed to the absence of Duboulay. So not even a losing bonus point for them and in truth they hardly deserved one. They will hope this was a one-off bad day and that such performances as this will not come again any time soon. So do we all.