Rotherham start 2023 on a high at Crow Trees!!

Blaydon started extremely quickly stretching the play left and right working their way to the Rotherham 22metre line where a handling error by the a Rotherham forward gave Blaydon Scrum Half John Clarkson the ball, and he chipped over the only defender to score. He easily converted his own score.


5 minutes later, the Clarkson show continued, following a scrum on the halfway line, Clarkson took it blind from the base and Rotherhams defence were not awake, he ghosted past the full back to score wide out, this time missing the conversion.


Rotherham had the upper hand in the scrum and were being awarded penalties each time they had the put in.  As a result they were getting a lot of ball in the Blaydon half and after 10 minutes of pressure Blaydon lost Nathan Bailey to a yellow card. A few phases later Rotherham right wing Jack Hedley went over unopposed. Centre Richard Hayes adding the extras.


Frustratingly 5 minutes later another scrum was demolished by the Rotherham pack and they got the ball out wide and again Jack Hedley scored this time cutting back inside, the try was again converted by Hayes.


Rotherham were gaining the ascendency and scored again on half time, this time a clever cross field kick to left winger Jack Taylor. Hayes this time missing the conversion.


Half Time: Blaydon 12 – 19 Rotherham


Rotherham picked up where they left off in the first half and a good run by 2nd row Matt Challinor, was well supported by the backs who fed in winger Jack Hedley for his Hat trick and another converted try.


Blaydon responded well, quick thinking by replacement a scrum Half, Ben Douglos who took play to the Rotherham 22. The ball was spun out and a pass behind him forced replacement fly half Zach Thompson back to the forwards but they were not expecting it and he went straight through them to score. He then converted his own try as Clarkson had been substituted.


The game ebbed and flowed for 10 minutes but on 62 Minutes a good move in the Rotherham backs which was debatably obstructing the Blaydon defender led to a converted try for Scrum Half Sam Boxhall.


Blaydon responded well and were hammering away at the Rotherham line, however just when the home side were anticipating getting back in the game, the away side Scrum Half intercepted a Ben Douglas pass and went the length of the field to score. Its hard to understand how he wasn’t offside given the ground he had to cover to take the pass but it went unpunished.  Hayes converted to put the knife in the home sides slim hopes of snatching something from the game.


Rotherham scored again in what turned out to be the final play of the game as they went blind from a scrum and the home defence was none-existent, this time replacement back row Callum Bustin the scorer, again converted by Hayes.


The scoreline probably doesn’t reflect the performance and had we scored when Boxhall controversially intercepted the score would have then been 26 – 33 not 19 – 40.


Full Time: Blaydon 19 v Rotherham 47


Blaydon: Bailey, Ashman, Cooney, Greenlaw, Appleton, Marshall (C), Clarkson, Appleby, Smith, Dodds, Barry, Phillips, Wright, Roy, Hall-Lyon

Replacements:  Siddle, Sanderson, Turnbull, Douglas, Thompson


Rotherham: Veall, Hedley, Taylor, Hayes, Sableman-Blue, Dever, Boxhall, Capps, Bermanas, Denman, Challinor, Allan, Payne, Kay, Poole (C)

Replacements:  Newborn, Rylance, Bustin, Nwoshu-Hope, Ollivent


REFEREE:   Dave Charlton


STAR MAN:  Rotherham – Jack Hedley



Blaydon  19

Tries:    Clarkson 3, 11, Thompson 46

Conversions:  Clarkson 4, Thompson 47



Rotherham 47

Tries:            Hedley 25, 30, 43 Taylor 39, Boxhall 62, 71 Bustin 79

Conversions:  Hayes 26, 31, 44, 63, 72, 80