PREVIEW: Yorkshire Rams @ Tamworth Phoenix
Tomorrow sees the Rams travel to the Midlands for the second time in as many weeks to face top of the division, Tamworth Phoenix. Here we preview the key points of the fixture:
Tamworth Phoenix 32 – 13 Yorkshire Rams
3rd August 2014
With an injury hit squad, and facing a team that were undefeated, it would have been easy to predict a heavy defeat for the Black & Gold. A gutsy performance however, showed that there was still life in the Ram’s season.
Receiving the opening kickoff, the Rams were able to edge the ball down the field behind a makeshift offensive line. Ultimately this would be fruitless however as a fumble gave the ball to the Phoenix in good field position. There was a promising start for the Yorkshire defence though as they held the home side to a field goal attempt that was ultimately missed leaving the scoreboard blank. Tamworth got the opportunity for 2 more Field Goal attempts in the 1st quarter, and with 1 successful, they gained an early 3-0 lead.
With a 4th trip into the Rams half following soon after, the Phoenix finally found their way into Yorkshire’s endzone through the air, and tacked on a PAT to make the score 10-0. Although there were signs of life from Yorkshire themselves, with good gains made on the ground, they were unable to threaten in return heading into the 2nd quarter. After the Phoenix had one score pulled back on an illegal block during a punt return, they did manage to get themselves into the endzone again through the air and extended their lead to 17-0.
After a strong Rams defensive stand as the Phoenix threatened again, Yorkshire got their hands on the ball one more time deep in their own territory with less than 30 seconds on the clock. Finding a quick first down through the running game, the visitors got one more shot with just 2 seconds left near halfway. After quarterback Jacob Hardy avoided pressure, rolling to his left he was able to set his feet and heave a ball downfield into the waiting arms of receiver Ross Hammond who had found a soft spot in the Phoenix coverage. And with rookie Quarterback Chris Wood stepping in for kicking duties, the PAT was successful to give the Rams momentum going into half time.
Tamworth were able to regain their composure in the second half, moving back down the field and again into Yorkshire territory. Once more the defence forced the Phoenix to settle for a field goal, which put the score at 20-7. Again the Rams found limited success with their own offensive showing, although more fumbles added to their problems. Tamworth would add two more scores in the 3rd quarter, although both PAT attempts were blocked to put the tie at 32-7.
Although the result was effectively decided heading into the 4th quarter, the Rams refused to lay down and quit. Following more brave defence, they were able to take over with the ball once again with about half of the quarter left. After a time-sapping drive, Yorkshire were to march down the field to find themselves inside the Phoenix red-zone as the 2 minute warning approached. They were finally able to get a second score on the board as quarterback Adam Cowley powered his way into the endzone through a couple of would be tacklers.
Scoring 13 points against a Tamworth side that would only allow 14 points by the East Kilbride Pirates the week after.
5th May 2013 – Tamworth Phoenix 28 – 0 Yorkshire Rams
8th July 2012 – Tamworth Phoenix 18 – 0 Yorkshire Rams
13th May 2012 – Yorkshire Rams 18 – 27 Tamworth Phoenix
Ones To Watch
Yorkshire Rams – Peter Yianni
After missing the game against Coventry, the Wide Receiver re-enters the fold and will be looking to get the Rams offence moving the ball more successfully after a good training session on Wednesday.
Tamworth Phoenix – Defence
Image from the Tamworth Phoenix website
The Tamworth defence has conceded only 7 points (of the team’s 18 points total) against 3 teams, including a previously unbeaten team in the Lancashire Wolverines.
Entry is free to spectators and will kickoff at 2.30pm. The address for travelling supporters is: Atherstone Sports Hub, Atherstone, CV9 1LX