Novos moved six points clear of the danger zone after securing a losing bonus point with the last play of the game.
Novos travelled to a rather heavy Grangefield Academy to take on Stockton. The match was very competitive in all aspects and we started the game really well, pinning Stockton in their 22m. Despite this early pressure it was Stockton that gained the initiative on the scoreboard with a well struck penalty.
Our forwards were battling well a round the pitch but we were simply making to many unforced errors when we got possession. Stockton on the other hand were making the most of their opportunities and scored two good tries to make it 12-0 with a few mins to go. Again, we trapped them in their 22 from the kick off and eventually turned the ball over. Pressure led to Greg Humphreyson kicking a penalty to make it 12-3 at half time.
They start of the second half was very important an unfortunately our errors continued as we coughed up possession time and time again. Stockton stretched the lead out to 20-3 with just 12 mins to play.
In the last 10 mins passes finally started to stick and Ben Wollerton went in to make it 20-8. We were on top in the game now and Greg Humphreyson went in giving us a 20-15 bonus point loss.
Stockton played well and were able to control the tempo of the game via superior possession stats.
To our lads, it was great to see 18 year old Colt, Sam Dayson make his debut. He looks a promising young scrum half and we hope he enjoys his home debut against Barnard Castle next game. Unfortunately, as a team we made too many unforced errors which cost us in terms of flow and continuity.
Getting a bonus point with the last play might just be the difference in our season as we now go into the last four games with a six point gap between us and the relegation places. Of those four games, three of them are at Sutherland Park which will be incredibly important for us. It is in our hands and we know we can get 2-3 wins and finish well clear of the bottom two.