Send us news by text, start your message Star News and your send photos and videos to 80360
Livesey steps up to fill the Smith void at Recs
11:58am Thursday 21st March 2013 in Sport
Pilkington Recs 32 Crosfields 6.
It is stating the obvious to say that Recs will miss the relentless drive of their loose forward Jamie Smith when he heads to Australia for a spell in country rugby.
However, anyone who witnessed this fixture at Ruskin Drive will have been comforted by realising that in Owen Livesey, they have a player seemingly cut from the same cloth.
Smith, who will head out on his adventure next month, was once again outstanding in a weakened Recs line up.
But Livesey, the former British judo fighter who has secured a release from Rochdale Hornets, offered a mix of brute force and stamina that suggests he can help fill the void.
Without first choice half back pairing of Ryan Rogers and Danny Lynch, it was a case of the home side needing to roll their sleeves up to get the job done.
The start did not go to plan, with visitors' loose forward Ben Mellor crossing inside two minutes.
But Kurt Haggerty's side swiftly switched on and Ben Gravener went in.
Smith then burst from a scrum and slipped an offload that sent the supporting centre Barry Pope on a 40 metre run to the line..
The centre was in the thick of it and after breaking free down the left the ball was turned back inside for Livesey to touchdown.
Then, more soft handling along the left hand side put Kel Duffy in at the corner just before half time, to leave the score 20-6.
The second half was a real forward scrap and, though largely untroubled, full back Ryan Hilliard was called upon to make a try saving tackle on visitors' scrum half David Rolt.
Smith was the instigator for the try that killed off the visitors, his charge and offload freeing Mark Ashton who fed Kyran Knapper to apply the finish.
And Smith rounded off the scoring in the final minute, as he took Ryan Liptrot's inside pass and crashed through the defensive line.
Knapper added his fourth conversion of the afternoon.
Smith was the Amdec man of the match and Livesey got the players' player vote.