L&Y kickstart season with a win

Basildon 19 Lowestoft & Yarmouth 60

With the weather making this a very literal ‘warm-up’ match, L&Y travelled down to Basildon to kickstart their new season with a friendly against old rivals Basildon. With four 15-minute sessions broken up by plenty of water breaks and rotated substitutes, both sides had young development squads, but it was L&Y who took most away from the exercise by scoring 10 tries to three, blooding a bunch of youngsters, and playing some attractive structured rugby in the process.

Basildon opened the scoring when they pounced on a mistake by L&Y from an early line-out. Full back Brad Sutherland, having an outstanding day throughout, got one back after a lovely offload from captain and coach Scott Nelson, then latched on to a flowing move to score again in the corner. Basildon bagged a second to level the scores with a full-length interception as L&Y pressed ahead. Centre Matt Howell got the first of a brace soon afterwards and Mark Thomas rounded the first half with a fourth score for the visitors.

Young locks Tom Port and Lewis Cook were both heavily involved in some constructive play, and when colts Tyler Beales and Gavin Pashler came on they both coped superbly, with Beales rounding his opposite wing for an excellent debut try which Pashler matched minutes later as the flanker supported a break through the middle. Tom Castleton scored after one of Sutherland’s many busts through the defensive line. Sutherland dribbled through and pounced for his hat-trick, Howell powered over for another, and dynamic flanker Steve Adams finished off a flowing move for a deserved score near the end.

All in all, director of rugby Matt Jary and head coach Scott Nelson were very pleased with the run-out, especially as they know they’ll be blooding plenty of inexperienced players in this year’s campaign.