1XV Whitehaven away report

Whitehaven 39 – Hawcoat Park 7

Not a good day out to Whitehaven to mark centre Chris Burns playing his 200th first team game – a fine achievement.

From the first scrum of the game Whitehaven moved the ball to their fly half who stepped well through some ordinary defence to touch down near the posts for a converted try. This was to set the tone for the remainder of the game and give Whitehaven the confidence to run strongly all game and try out all their set moves through forwards and backs alike. They were to a dominate all aspects of play save possibly for the scrum where for the first time this season we met our match as this was a good fairly even battle against a strong Whitehaven front five and pack.

However, our play in this area was not helped 10 mins into the game when Paul Woodburn suffered a serious knee ligament injury and had to be helped off the pitch and taken to FGH. All at Hawcoat Park wish all the very best to Paul a very popular club man. Thank you to all at Whitehaven for helping him and giving much needed support. Corey Doughty came on as replacement and did a good job alongside hardworking Chris Thompson and the evergreen stalwart Martin Kennedy when he came on.

Playing some good team rugby three further trys came in the opening half for a half time score line of 24 – 0. Our play did improve in the second half but it was always Whitehaven who controlled the game. Full back Benji Platt and winger Rodney Odondi with limited attacking ball were both running the ball back strongly and making good ground.

It was Whitehaven who added a further three trys, one in particular a fine full length of the pitch handling move, to put their winger away to touchdown in the corner for a try enjoyed by all the home supporters.

39 – 0.

With the game wrapped up we at least got a late consolation try and it was a good individual one scored by winger Alex Brown on his return following a shoulder injury. Collecting a kick 35 metres out he ran strongly at pace through a gap and beat several would be tacklers to touch down near the posts. Benji Platt booted the conversion Final Score 39 – 7.

In a game of few plus points for the maroon and whites a word for young prop Lewis Phillips who stood up well playing the full 80 mins against an experienced former county prop and Whitehaven pack. Also Rory Sayle who started off helping out in the centre before moving into the pack and doing well in the line out and loose.

Chris Burns was heard to say as we did not turn up in the first half he has technically only played 199 and a half games and would like to put that right to enjoy and celebrate properly his full 200th game when Carlisle based Creighton visit Barrow next week.

Finally a word for the hardworking Cumbria referees co- ordinator Mike Firby who has the difficult job of organising a referee for all games in the County. His work is greatly appreciated. We do not see him often enough but as always he handled the game well and sensibly to make it an enjoyable experience for all concerned.

John Horne

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