By George Newell

Rugby Union is a game of point scoring.

Five points for a try – potentially seven with the conversion – as three points via penalty kicks or drop-goals. It’s a sport set up for a points fest.

A study by Rugbydome even found “the average score in professional rugby matches, at club level, across the world was 27 points to 24 in the 2020/2021 season”.

But no one told the players of Southport and Preston this – after their “really weird” afternoon finished pointless!

In fact a 0-0 is so uncommon in rugby that there has never been one recorded at elite level, since the game went professional in 1995.

So what local rugby fans witnessed as they watched Southport Colts’ clash with Preston Grasshoppers will go down in the history books.

For 80 minutes, the two Lancashire outfits went toe-to-toe without being able to register a single score between them.

Southport assistant coach, James Cook, could scarcely believe it.

“There’s not a lot to say when your team finishes a game, and it’s 0-0.

“It was the world’s quickest post-match team talk – it was over and done with within moments.

“Everyone was just a little bit in disbelief.”

While the game might not have been a brilliant advert for attacking rugby, Cook felt his side had chances to win the game.

He said: “I think we had the better opportunities.

“We haven’t been a high-scoring team all season, but we’d expect to be a lot more clinical than what we were.

“There was a strong cross-field wind so maybe sometimes we kicked for touch when we’d normally go for goal, but it just didn’t fall for us.

“It was a really weird Sunday afternoon!”

Despite the overwhelming frustration, Cook is confident the unprecedented result can be a good learning curve for the Under 18s team.

He said: “I think there’s a lot of positives to take from it.

“Whenever you don’t concede, in rugby, there’s always a positive in that that you’ve defended well and you’ve done that side of your job for the duration of the game – it’s just a shame we couldn’t capitalise on that in attack.

“Even though it wasn’t the right result the players will remember that game for years to come, whether that’s positively or negatively, because it was unique.”

Southport currently sit third in the Halbro Colts Senior E Conference, and will be looking to get back to scoring ways when they return to action against Kendal on March 6.

(Featured image courtesy of Google Street View)