After a disappointing two weeks for the 4s, the team was determined to perform and come out victorious against Liverpool 1s at home. The stage was set, playing on the Racecourse pitch rather than Shincliffe is a rare occasion for the 4s which only further intensified their focus. The warm up was slick and heads were screwed on.
Liverpool kicked-off and instantly we could tell that this would be a physical game. They managed to pull a few phases together before going wide resulting in a try from their left winger, 0-7. Durham 4s kept their heads high and retaliated quickly with a great break from Tom Fairclough which is finished off with good feet from Louis Pharaony. Tom Huckle goes on to slot a huge conversation from the touch line bringing the scores to 7-7. Despite some excellent phase play from the 4s forwards carrying hard and dominating the breakdown, an intercepted pass, a loose ball and some at times sloppy defence gifted Liverpool three tries before the half-time whistle blew. 7-28.
After the half-time talk and the troops got back on the field, Durham spent a lot of time in the opponent’s 22. After consecutive penalties given away by the opposition and quick tap & go’s, the 4s, through Moses Fakatou, scored a try from a pick & go to reduce the gap to 12-28. Tom Huckle makes the conversion look easy, 14-28. Unfortunately, this did not have the desired comeback effect as Liverpool went on to score two more converted tries increasing their lead to14-42. Durham were still persistent on obtaining a bonus point and a break by Dan Richards as well as a well placed kick by Hugh Macer made this objective look possible. In the dying minutes of the game, Charlie Blair showing some dazzling feet left the opposition fullback in his tracks as our centre touched down underneath the sticks. Despite our best efforts to secure a 4th try, the referee blew the final whistle leaving the final score at 21-42.
Although the result was disappointing, there are still many positives to take out of this game. The 4s showed a lot more nerve than in previous weeks and managed to maintain their structure better. We will have to adopt more of this mentality before facing Newcastle 3s away next Wednesday which will give us a chance to get our season back on track.