BEVERLEY Under-18 Colts scored a try in the final seconds of their ‘international’ against Liceo from Mendoza in Argentina on Saturday to earn a famous 12-7 victory.
In what was a superb occasion, the thrilling finale had seen the visitors take the lead with a converted try under the posts with only two minutes remaining. The subsequent roar from the watching players and coaches from an older age squad also on their UK tour shook the wooden clubhouse balcony and the singing and chanting echoed around the ground as Liceo sensed the win.
However, the noise seemed to inspire the home side who had led from the 21st minute and they ripped forward after gathering up the restart. First winger Joe Barrett did well to reach the 10 metre line and stay in play surrounded by defenders. The referee awarded a penalty for an infringement in the ruck and a quick tap and go saw Alex Hodgkinson charge into the defence who held him off inches from the line. The ball was recycled and first Rhys Innes and then Mobo Abayomi went agonisingly close but the gap had been created and hard-working hooker Alex Morris charged over near the posts. Hodgkinson converted and despite one last huge effort from the visitors, the home side held out.
Both sets of players had served up an entertaining spectacle with Beverley just about deserving the win. Liceo showed the that the future of Argentinian rugby will be based on mobile forwards linking well with free-flowing backs and not the grinding forward play of old. Fortunately, that is the same style as the Colts but the latter also managed to get the upper hand in the set piece of scrums and lineouts to give them crucial possession.
The visitors were also kept busy by the barnstorming runs of excellent number 8 Keegan Foster supported by fellow forwards Ted Harber, Tom Jackson and Charlie Fisher while Ifan Downey and Adam Carpenter were tireless in close combat as both sides gave no quarter in defence. The Beverley back line, prompted by scrum half Toby Redman and fly half Will Dobson were given little time to think but they kept to the task and it was swift hands from Dobson and Hodgkinson that sent Brandon Leggett sprinting away for the first try in the corner. However, try as they might, numerous attacking moves foundered on the tough and occasionally frenzied tackling of the Argentinians foiling the likes of Morris, Abayomi, Foster, Jack Gill and Bailey Wood.
Then came the frantic final few minutes that proved this was a highly-competitive match played in a tremendous spirit that will be remembered by both sets of lads in future years.
The only negative to the day was the broken wrist suffered by Beverley full back Charlie Rawlins who will now be looking to return in time for the Yorkshire Bowl Final against Huddersfield on April 22.