CONDITIONS could not have been better for the second game of the season away at Bramley Phoenix.

Ensians supporters were hoping the depleted squad from last weeks game was a one off, but sadly the post pandemic reality is far from the dizzy heights of the 2018/19 season.

It seems that 18 months away from the game has let apathy creep into some of the squad.

Only a few days before the fixture, a full 15 could not be guaranteed.

As the visitors had arrived without a functioning front row, it was decided that un-contested scrums would be the safest way to proceed.

Bramley put the pressure on from the start, pinning Otliensians deep into their 22.

Winning an early penalty, Bramley opted to kick for the corner.

Following a cleanly won line out, their powerful outside centre bustled over to open the scoring. A successful conversion took the score to 7-0 with only a few minutes played.

Despite excellent tackling from Paddy Phipps and Noel Gilson, Bramley repeated this set pattern throughout the first 40 minutes.

Their nimble forwards driving play into the opposition’s half every few minutes. By the half time mark, Ensians had conceded 43 points and had made very few inroads.

Otliensians opened the second half well and looked like they were going to open their account on the score board. Sadly possession was lost inches from the line and gathered by Bramley’s pacey full back.

After an impressive race across the full length of the pitch, the successfully converted try took the home sides lead to 50-0.

The game was cut short when Ensian’s brave scrum half Lewis Exley suffered a potential neck injury.

To be cautious, an ambulance was called and the game was abandoned.

As the game started with uncontested scrums, the RFU rules state that Otliensians had technically forfeited the match.

Irrespective of the on field score, the home side had been awarded a victory before the game had even started.

In such circumstances the RFU fixes the score at 25-0 in this case to Bramley.

The travelling team must be congratulated, in what was a brave effort against a strong, well prepared team.

Many clubs in this position would have called off the fixture but quite rightly the

team decided to turn up regardless.

Although there is no promotion or relegation this season, Bramley well deserve their new place in Yorkshire 3.

Ensians will be hoping to collect their first win of the new campaign at the weekend, following their opening two defeats to Skipton and Bramley.

And they couldn't have a better fixture to do just that.

Otliensians host local rivals Burley on Saturday, who themselves are looking for their first victory of the season having lost in their only fixture against Harrogate Pythons at the weekend (0-38).