Date: 11th January 2020
Location: Sheffield Tigers RUFC, Sheffield
The Vulcans welcomed the Ravens to a cold and windy Dore Moor, as we were hosted for the second time by Sheffield Tigers.
The game was organised over four, 20-minute quarters to enable both squads to gain plenty of game time, by allowing rolling subs, in what was to be a good experience for both clubs, with both teams debuting players.
The Ravens kicked off with a very strong wind behind them, pinning down the Vulcans in their own 22. Despite the advantage of the wind and most of the early possession, they could not breach the strong Vulcans defence and with handling errors creeping into their play, the Ravens struggled to mount an attack of more than two or three phases.
As the first quarter progressed, the Vulcans steadily gained more possession and began to assert some authority on the game, with several good runs from the back line. A feature of the game was to be several good attacking opportunities missed and 3-on-1 overlaps squandered. Nevertheless, the Vulcans opened the scoring with a slick move along the backs allowing Dan Slinn to cross the line for the first try, converted by Chris Moore.
In the second quarter, following several changes in the Vulcans pack, home dominance was quickly asserted. The turning point was a Ravens put-in at the scrum just inside their half; a huge Vulcans drive pushed the Ravens off the ball, the resulting attack enabled Matt Clark to score a well finished try.
This proved to be the theme of the middle of the game; the pack working hard to win and retain ball and as the Vulcans handling improved, more tries followed.
Michael Rennison ran through 3 players in customary style to score, Khal scythed through the Ravens defence for a couple of scores and Dan S added another to stretch the lead further. Both Chris and Nathan kicked conversions successfully.
The Ravens were still winning possession – several times stripping the ball from a Vulcan player in the tackle, but too often they quickly lost it or made handling errors in the backs and so failed to mount a sustained attack on the Vulcans try line. Their only consolation was a breakaway score late in the third quarter, giving them their first points in the match.
The Vulcans managed two more scores in the last quarter, with Richard Mather going over from close quarters to score his first try for the club and finally Dan Slinn rounding off a resounding win with a 50 metre run to complete his hat-trick.
The final score was Sheffield Vulcans 50 – 5 Newcastle Ravens
Back of the match – Dan Slinn, a potent attacking force and a hat-trick!
Forward of the Match – Glenn Allen, aggression and bossing the scrum
Dick of the Day – Tibble Smith, won before the game started – late and forgot boots!