Not much to write home about here. This was pretty dire stuff. Beverley will want to forget it as quickly as possible, and so will most of the spectators.
Pontefract were the better of the two sides and fully deserved their win but neither team or the game generally, ever really got going.
A stiff cold wind did not help, which together with numerous errors, and in Beverley’s case, an almost total lack of any cohesive rugby made for grim viewing.
Worryingly for Beverley was the manner in which for the second week running the forwards were easily pushed back in the set pieces. At least this week they did win some line-out ball and there was some determined individual running, particularly by Jack Houseman, Isaac Keighley and Matty Brown, who had a good game, but possession was too easily lost in the contact.
Similarly, behind the scrum there were occasional individual bursts from Rob Smith and Jack Foster but little sign of any constructive movement. The ball seldom passed through more than two pairs of hands before play broke down. One nice break by Smith did put wing Ratu Vaviano through only for his final scoring pass to go to ground.
After the break play resumed in its scrappy fashion. Pontefract were still the livelier and more adventurous side and scarcely looked like a side at the foot of the table. A yellow card for scrum-half Rob Wilhoite did not help Beverley’s cause but Beverley began to get more into the game. Several times they might have got over but it was not until the game was going into its final quarter they, at last, managed to get on to the score-sheet.
From a maul near the Pontefract line, the ball was moved right to Duboulay who swept round the visitors’ defence to touch down. In the swirling wind and from wideout he added a fine conversion to put Beverley into the lead at 7-5.
Beverley raised their game in a desperate effort to recapture the lead but it was to no avail. This was a disappointing result for them particularly as the two sides above them were playing each other which gave Beverley the chance to close the gap.
If they are to maintain a serious bid for a play-off place they will certainly need to get their act together before next week’s trip to Bridlington.
Reported by John Nursey