Boston Buccaneers first home game of the 2016 rugby league season saw them upset league favourites Leicester Storm, 32-30.
The home fans were treated to a nail-biting encounter, with the Buccaneers coming from behind to clinch the win.
In the absence of injured captain Jim Dearing the team was lead by returning forward Marc Miles. Coach Beany also welcomed back Sean Templeton and handed out a debut to ex Spartan Ash Anker.
Initially the Buccaneers struggled to handle the experienced Leicester outfit and had to defend for large parts of the first quarter. Hard defending from captain Marc Miles, Dan Piggins, Jamie Jenkins and Jordan Cleaver kept them in the game.
But hooker John Stanfield soon settled and provided fast ball to big runners Sean Templeton, Sam Johnson and Will Scupham to smash the yards up the middle of the park.
Anker opened the scoring for Buccaneers, powering over from short yardage, with Dan Mackie adding the extra points.
Dogged defence from Storm looked to thwart the home team until Stanfield dived over the defenders to bring the Buccaneers to within a score at half-time.
The second half started brightly, with Buccaneers eating into Storm territory.
Anker went on a jinking run and, five metres short of the line, he slipped out of a defender’s grasp and dived over for his second try.
This seemed to galvanise the visitors, who scored through some slick hands to open up a 10 point advantage. However, after a series of Storm penalties, Buccaneers piled on the pressure and prop Sam Johnson smashed his way through to bring the score to 22-26.
The final 10 minutes were frantic, with both teams desperate to seal the win. Buccaneers scored thanks to a great ‘show and go’ from Mackie, who went over in the corner.
With time running out, Buccaneers threw everything into attack and, 20 metres from the Storm line, John Stanfield threw a dummy and darted in to score a great individual try, giving the home side a six point lead with less than five minutes to go.
A dramatic finish saw Storm recover the ball from a Buccaneers’ mistake and break through the tiring defence to score in the corner. However, the conversion from the sideline sailed wide, handing Buccaneers a 32-30 victory.
Man of the match was Marc Miles.
○ On Saturday, Buccaneers are at home to Buxton Bulls at Boston RFC Kick off 2:30pm.