1XV v Whitehaven report

Whitehaven (21) v Hawcoat Park(15)

Saturday 17th November, 2018

The maroon and whites made the always difficult trip up the coat to play Whitehaven on a firm pitch on a perfect sunny winters day for a game of rugby.

Whitehaven started strongly but 10 minutes in during our first spell in the Whitehaven half skipper George Smith booted over a 30 metre penalty goal to take the lead for the one and only time during the match, 0 – 3.

From this point on the strong running Whitehaven pack put them on the front foot and really tested our defence. Their short sharp drives were very effective and linked with getting on the wrong side of the refs penalty count it came as no real surprise after 15 minutes that Whitehaven scored the first try. Once again it was the Whitehaven pack who set the platform up front before good handling by their impressive three quarters created a clear overlap for their winger who ran round close to the posts for a converted try 7 – 3.

When moving the ball out wide the Whitehaven backs were running well and the likes of Scott Kaighan and Ryan Clegg were having to defend well to keep them out. The Whitehaven fly half and full back were ‘pulling the strings’ and mid way through the half they added their second try.

Good handling allowed their elusive running full back to burst into the line and run strongly for the touch down once again well converted by their back row forward 14 – 3.

Just before half time after a tough first half we managed to get back into the game. Good line our work by the outstanding Ashley Mowat and Mike Lightfoot allowed us to get our forward drive going and it was young back row Harry Higgins who got his hands on the ball last to touch down. From reasonably wide out captain George Smith was unlucky with his conversion attempt as it moved late in the air to strike the post. Half time 14 – 8.

The second half was a more even affair and a good battle ensued up front as both teams went for that next important score 15 minutes in it was a great individual piece of play by the Whitehaven No 8 to score that vital try himself. Bursting through on about half way he had the speed to go all the way to the posts to score himself. It has to be said there was some ordinary defence on our part but it was a well taken try nevertheless. The try was converted 21 – 8.

Our heads did not drop and we came back into the game this time it was the Whitehaven defence who had to be strong. The likes of Mat Robson and Paul Woodburn were running strong however our cause was not helped by a yellow card to Mike Lightfoot who could not resist talking back to the referee.

However it was during this 10 minute spell that we scored our second try. Full back Benji Platt came into the line and passed to winger Jack Lord he beat his man on the outside before shipping over the cover defence to regather and touch down. A great individual moment for the 17 year old winger making his first team debut after some impressive displays in the second team. George Smith booted over a great conversion for 21 – 15.
It was Whitehaven who stepped up the pressure for the last ten minutes to finish strongly and not allow us to score again. Overall Whitehaven deserved their win but determination to keep going meant we returned home with a losing bonus point.

No 8 Ash Mowat took the Man of the Match award and won the drink off with the Whitehaven No 8 who took their nomination. However good signs for the future came in the performance of Jack Lord on debut and his mate Harry Higgins a prop during his junior rugby who showing up well in the back row.

A week off for the first team this week before welcoming leagues leaders Keswick to Hawcoat Park in a fortnight’s time.

John Horne
Hawcoat Rugby Union

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