League leaders beat Market Rasen & Louth 32-12
PICTURES BY MIKE BAKER
Midlands 1 East
Newbold on Avon 32
Market Rasen & Louth 12
Newbold will be pleased at getting the bonus-point win against lower-ranked opposition, but they will know that this level of performance may not get results on the road against the better teams in the league, writes Sean O’Brien.
The forwards had a better week than last, and produced some decent possession, but Market Rasen did well enough in the lineout and in most scrums they had parity. They themselves had good amounts of possession but lacked dangerous ball carriers or real pace to turn their good team play into meaningful points.
Newbold plugged away with Ben Dawes prominent for the next spell, but Rasen refused to buckle. They earned a kickable penalty but chose to kick to the corner as their forwards gained confidence against Newbold’s larger pack.
They lost the ball forward however, after going through a few phases. A Newbold clearance kick found Rasen’s left winger who started an attack that led to a try in the left hand corner which they then converted into seven points.
Newbold’s response was immediate when Stuey Houghton, KJ Henry and Nick Walton combined to put Declan George over in the right hand corner – 7-5 to Market Rasen.
Soon after, Ethan Wookey put Newbold in the opposite corner. Bold went over again when Tom Dixon caught a line-out, the pack rumbled on and Dawes deservedly dotted down – 10-7 to Newbold after a fairly even first half.
Early in the second half Newbold had a lineout 12m from Rasen’s goal line. They caught and set well, and drove all the way over with Kyle Furlong taking the score.
In the same area of the pitch Newbold soon had a scrum, Danny Facer picked and went right but was repelled. Excellent defence by Rasen but they couldn’t hold on, Walton scoring infield, Ethan Wookey adding the conversion – 22-7 to Newbold.
KJ Henry and Kyle Furlong particularly continued to work hard, frequently slowing down the opposition ball at the breakdown, and Douza Ziba was also busy. Going forward, Newbold laboured away without looking fluid or capable of putting Rasen to the sword.
Rasen had a good spell in the third quarter; They stretched Newbold and moved the ball nicely between them, showing that as a team, they are more than capable. Sam Thompson and Kyle Furlong both managed turnovers to help Newbold keep Rasen out, but despite some more worthy defence, Rasen crossed for a well deserved converted try.
Then ensued the ten minute Lloyd Warner show. He took a quick tap penalty in his own 22, sprinted up the left hand touch line before cleverly kicking on for James McGill to chase and touch down.
He then chipped and gathered his own kick for a try of his own. Those ten points helped make the scoreboard look nice and healthy.
Newbold must fire into Melton Mowbray’s big pack next week and the team needs to find the shape and fluidity that produced the points that put them top of the table. It will come; the will is there and so is the squad. And the clubhouse faithful are offering plenty of support.