St. Benedicts v 1XV Report

St Benedicts 35 v Hawcoat Park 19

Saturday 22nd September, 2018

With a season long pitch refurbishment taking place at their own club Bennies are playing their games at Lowca Rugby League Club at the other end of Whitehaven. Right on the coast it can on occasions be a bit wild but it was a perfectly calm day for rugby that met the travelling maroon and whites. We made a good start and after 5 minutes following a breakdown and good play by Mat Robson winger Glenn Kaighan made a 50 metre run and looked to be scoring only for good cover defence to prevent the try.

This turned out to be the only real highlight for us in the first half as Bennies scored their first try soon after. The Lowca pitch sloped down to the left hand corner away from the club house and with local knowledge the Bennies fly half was controlling play well and pinning us down in that corner with his accurate kicking.

This first try was rather fortunate; a Bennies kick through hit one of our players with no chance to react the bounce was perfect for their centre to run and score, 5 – 0.

The Bennies pack was starting to get on top and their close support play and hard drives was proving difficult to stop throw in at times some lack lustre tackling it came as no surprise when after 15 minutes they stretched their lead. It was following one of these sustained phases of forward pressure that their prop forced his way over for a converted try, 12 – 0.

Twenty five minutes they scored a similar try again involving good support play for a good team try eventually finished off by their hard running back row.

We were starting to get on the wrong side of the referees penalty count all technical offences as the game was played hard but in good spirit throughout. From one of these penalties the impressive Bennies fly half Dan Rayson booted over a 40 metre penalty goal, 22 – 0. Then right on half time scored their fourth bonus point earning try. Their centre ran a good angle onto a short pass to run strongly to touch down near the posts. They try was converted. Half time 29 – 0.

Two minutes into the second half they booted another penalty goal following a high tackle under the new stricter interpretations of this aspect of the game, 32 – 0.

For the remainder of the game making use of the slope we finished strongly and had Bennies on the back foot for good spells.

Ten minutes into the second half we scored our first try. Good work up front by Paul Woodburn and Ashley Mowat allowed scrum half James Howden to move the ball quickly and No 8 Mike Lightfoot slipped a good short pass to centre Chris Burns who ran hard onto a crash ball to force his way over. Captain George Smith booted the conversion, 32 – 7.

Back rows Jack Sutherland and Chris Milby were becoming more prominent in open play and Milby made a good 40 metre try which looked like resulting in a try only to be prevented by a last ditch tackle.

However, 20 minutes into the half and it deservedly went to second row Mowat who was having an outstanding game. Good work by winger Rodney Odondi and vice captain Andy Kent up front allowed Mowat to show good strength to force his way over. Smith converted, 32 – 14.

The momentum was retained and with 10 minutes remaining we scored our third try. After making hard yards all game this time Mowat decided to chip over the defence and regathered well to slip a great pass to replacement winger Rob Shepherd. He in turn chipped over himself to regather his kick and touch down well in the corner, 32 – 19.

The Bennies No 8 had made good ground all game and before the end from one of his powerful runs we gave away a penalty which was booted over from 35 metres. Final score 35 – 19.

After a disappointing first half the positive was the way we played all second half and kept going to the end. It was good to see Jack Shannon return as replacement scrum half for his first competitive game after 12 months out following knee surgery.

John Horne
Hawcoat Rugby Union

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