Rockcliff inter-game friendly after Seaham cancel

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Rockcliff were expecting to play Seaham in a pre-season friendly when the players arrived at Hillheads.

However, when Seaham unfortunately cancelled the fixture, other plans were made to ensure the players had time on the pitch.

With 35 players looking to get some game time and with strength and depth in each position, the club put out two teams and played a superb Rockcliff vs Rockcliff game.

Within its playing ranks the club could even find a fully qualified referee to ensure the game was taken seriously.

Both teams showed signs of the hard work the players have been putting in during pre-season with great rugby and some superb tries being scored.

Player Dan Simpson said: “It was good to finally put what we have been doing in pre-season training into practice.

“The fact that it was two strong Rockcliff teams against each other shows the strength and depth currently at the club.

“With numerous players vying for each position the coaches will have a dilemma picking the 1st XV.”

Head Coach Jack Lambert said: “Although disappointing at the time, Seaham cancelling actually gave the players a superb opportunity to stake their claim for a starting position.

“The coaching staff selected two strong sides who then prepared separately before the game and the atmosphere stayed intense from the warm-up through to the final whistle sounding, just ask Daniel Simpson and Douglas Hall.

“The club has put out a player in every position in two teams with five subs on the sideline and even managed to supply a qualified referee from its playing squad.

“This is a fantastic achievement and meant in a tough situation with a late cancellation we were still able to give the players much needed game time.

“We played some good rugby and the lads scored great tries in a very competitive game.

“We also have a lot to work on in the coming weeks, however, and I think the players recognised that today.

“The way we are looking to play is intense and demanding but I know this group of players will be here Tuesday and Thursday next week to keep developing ready for September, they even completed a sprint session afterwards.”

All players finished the afternoon with a combined huddle led by club captain Andrew Webster and a tight squeeze.

Thanks went to player Michael Donaldson who refereed the game superbly and without whom the inter-club fixture would have been impossible.