Wednesday marked not only the first game of the season but also a beginning of a journey for the many fresh in their palatinate Jersey’s. It was certainly a baptism of fire for the fresh against a considerably large Hull 1st XV. The opening minutes of the match was characterized by a fierce upfront battle with plenty of pressure coming from the travelling side. This soon resulted in points with the Palatinates a try down. Following this wake up call, the Durham front 3 of Lard Arse, Le Croissant and Polo managed to get Durham a grip on the game through dominating the set piece. Despite this, pressure still remained from the travelling side and Durham were lucky not to concede again. But down to terrific lineout defense and exit strategies combined with the boot of poop sack and Brinkley, the defense remained strong. The tide began to turn led by stand out performances through Cam Coulson’s work around the breakdown and Stalin’s counter attacking prowess. Hull’s attacking options became limited and one dimensional using their brutish forwards to run up the middle of the park. Due to a lack of discipline, Durham got their first points on the board through a successful penalty kick by Brinkley. From this point, the Palatinate found a new gear. Leadership from Polo and Massy drove Durham deep into Hull’s 22 resulting in another Brinkley penalty kick. 10-6. Durham’s pursuit of the try line grew as the half went on and a try was inevitable as the forwards continued to break the gain line with Lard Arse finally securing the five points, then again to be converted by Brinkley. The first half finished with Durham seemingly having the upper hand.
An extremely vocal Hull team talk from their captain reminded them of the importance of this match and that this was the biggest game of their lives. This reinvigorated the Hull front 5 who despite playing a contact sport, just didn’t like to be touched. Ill-discipline was costly on both sides but Durham’s effort in preseason became to show dividends as they were clearly the fitter and more athletic side. Tempers began to flare resulting in numerous high tackles with Chicken Dipper taking the brunt of this, though must be commended for his bravery soldering on after an all mighty hit. Stalin then began to steal the show with his skillful feet whilst Teaspoon proved to be the work horse of the team making many yards. Peel and Chicken Mayo then joined the show making a great defensive impact. The closing minutes were identical to the opening of the game with Hull hoarding the ball. Once again the Durham line remained strong. The game finished 13-12 and placed a marker down for the rest of the season with a courageous and resilient performance. Man of the match awarded to Stalin for his attacking display, watch this space. Cheers Geoff.