The views of Bridlington director of rugby Kieran Lawry
“IT WAS a case of so near yet so far on Saturday as we fell at the penultimate hurdle in our attempt to grace the hallowed turf of Twickenham.
“Despite playing most of the rugby and in my opinion looking the better side we could not break down a well organised and physical Widnes team.
“This was especially so after they scored two quick, break away individual tries and then set their stall out to play low-risk percentage rugby and close the game out.
“Nevertheless I was extremely happy with the performance and effort the lads put in considering Widnes had not been beaten since September and had racked up over 850 points this season, averaging nearly 40 points per game.
“Given that our away form has not been great this season I must admit to having an air of apprehension going into the match, even though it is widely recognised that the Yorkshire leagues are generally stronger than their Lancashire equivalent.
“We also got off to a poor start and were quickly on the back foot with the home side’s confidence oozing but one major improvement we’ve learnt this season is how to soak up pressure when you’re under the cosh.
“Once we turned round at half time I knew we were in with a shout of winning and put them under immense pressure ourselves for most of the second half.
“The main area that let us down was not controlling the pace of the game enough.
“Too often we let opposition players slow the ball down so our game became stifled.
“We kept battling right to the very end and you could see the relief on the Widnes faces at the final whistle.
“Both the opposition and the referee acknowledged the standard of our performance and the discipline we had shown.
“The whole squad of 19 players played some part in the match and all performed magnificently.
“The forwards were outstanding with our set piece gaining the upper hand on numerous occasions.
“Daniel Perkin had a great game supported ably by his two hard working props Medforth and Floyd while man of the match went to Sizwe Zondo at full back in only his second game back after a serious injury six months ago.
“Now the ground is firmer it will enable us to move the ball around more easily and give our fast men the chance to shine.
“Saturday’s defeat now leaves us to concentrate on working our way back up the table in our final seven league games.
“This Saturday sees us face bottom club Bradford Salem for the first time this season where a good win would not only see us climb the table but also condemn Bradford to relegation so I’m sure it will make for a very competitive contest.
“There are no new injury concerns this week and hopefully we will have Paddy Waines back in contention for selection once he manages a training session or two.
“I must finish on a really sad note and offer Bridlington Rugby Club’s sincere and heartfelt condolences to Widnes RUFC and in particular the family and friends of their team manager John Ratcliffe who collapsed and died suddenly by the side of the pitch following Saturday’s match.
“It put the game sharply into perspective for everyone concerned and turned what should have been a celebratory moment for them into one of immense shock.
“We hope that Widnes can now go on and win the trophy in memory of their club stalwart.”