Date: 19th January 2019
Location: Sheffield Hallam University Sports Park, Sheffield
The Sheffield Vulcans eagerly awaited the arrival of our IGR brothers from Wales and were looking forward to taking on the Swansea Vikings for the first time since April 2018. Nine months on, both teams have had new members and the chance to develop their skills as a squad.
The Swansea Vikings started strong with a try in the first few minutes of the game. However, the Vulcans hit back and put up a good fight with a forceful attack. Working with new tactics, the Sheffield Vulcans saw a much improved tackle technique and a great increase in the support given to each other when moving forward with the ball.
Just like their name sake, the Vikings continued in waves against Sheffield’s defence and racked up several more tries before the half time whistle. In particular Chris Rayer, who’s battle-axe attitude meant he could storm down the pitch several times, earning him the Vulcans choice of Viking of the Match.
The Sheffield Vulcans came back in the second half determined not to give Swansea a clean sheet. With superb contact from Glenn Allen, Joel Walker and Dan Giles to name a few, the Vulcans began their attack and pushed towards the Swansea try line. A try from Khalid Qasem and conversion from Michael Hudson gave the Vulcans their first 7 points on the board.
The energy refused to dip throughout the second half and saw impressive play from players on both sides of the pitch. Last minute tackles from Mike Surtees and Andres Gl kept the Vikings from taking their score higher and in the final minutes of the game, Swansea almost held off a 12 phase attempt at goal all within metres of their try line.
The final score gave a well deserved win to the Swansea Vikings of 79-14. But the Vulcans came away with a real high, knowing that all aspects of the game have improved since playing the Welsh team last year, and highlighting keys points to work on throughout the rest of the season.
Both Vulcans and Vikings showcased newer players to the game, and saw successes from all 35 players that took to the pitch. Vulcans Man of the Match was awarded to Joel Walker for his stellar role as hooker, and the Vikings gave their Vulcan of the Match to Michael Hudson for his leadership as Scrum-Half and Captain.
What followed the game was a laughter-filled night out of dancing, karaoke, and bonding between two IGR brotherhoods that will continue to develop every time the two teams come together. Many thanks to the Swansea Vikings for making the journey, and we look forward to seeing you again soon.
Photography: Swansea Vikings.