Aire deflated in local derby
Old Otliensians come away with bonus point win
Aireborough travelled to in-form Old Otliensians the Saturday in what always going to be a tough fixture. The team remained similar to the start of the season with the back line bolstered by the resurrection of centre partnership Lewis Barrett and Matt Trevithick, and David Krushell continuing at 15. In the forwards, Nick Jackson returned to the starting line-up after a rare outing from the bench the previous week.
Aire new they needed to build on the win against Harrogate Pythons the week before with head coach, Si Davies (sponsored by Smarter Recruitment), calling for the #AireWolfpack to go to war. Aire started the stronger of the two teams, with some great work from the forwards at scrum time securing a penalty almost instantly from the kick off. Captain Ollie Catherall opted to go for the points and slotted the kick to give Aire a 3-0 advantage.
Aire continued their good start by securing the kick off and making their way up into the Otliensians half to again secure a penalty. Again Captain Ollie Catherall opted to go for the 3 points, despite the kick being more than 40m out. Catherall struck the ball cleanly to secure a 6-0 lead for Aireborough – a fantastic start and surely a great building block for the rest of the game? Sadly, this was to be Aireborough’s last score of the game.
After a very even period of play, Otliensians were awarded a penalty which they chose to take 3 points from. Despite some strong tackling from the bulk of Tom Pendriss and Adam Jackson, Otliensians managed to score out wide to give themselves a 8-6 advantage, and added a further converted score to lead 15-6 going in to the half time break.
At half time, the message was clear: ‘continue to build momentum, up the aggression in the tackle, and cut out some of the simpler errors that plagued the first half’. However, almost instantly, some strong running from Otliensians saw them under the posts to extend their lead. The rest of the game saw Otliensians continue to press and deservedly score the bonus point try.
The final score of 32-6 was, unfortunately for Aire, an accurate representation of the game. Credit must go to Otliensians who looked dangerous in attack and solid in defence. If they continue their early season form they will certainly be contenders for a top 2 finish come the end of the season.
Next week, Aireborough entertain table-toppers Castleford at Nunroyd Park and must begin to correct some of the problems so far. There have been huge positives in all the games so far this season but Aireborough must play to their capabilities for longer periods of the game.
Aireborough would like to wish a speedy recovery to second row Jonny Hiles (arm) and fellow second row James Greenwood (ankle).
Man of the match - Head coach, Si Davies, singled out Adam Jackson (sponsored by Pizza House) and Tom Pendriss at joint winners of the MOTM award this week. Both stood out for their strong carries and destructive defence.