Novos 26, Barnard Castle 43 - Another Bonus Point On Last Play
By Magnus Leask
An entertaining game saw Barnard Castle win but Novos had a positive day with a four try bonus point and two colts making their home debuts.
The sun was out at Sutherland Park for this match against high flying Barnard Castle. As anticipated the match in these conditions was always going to be high scoring and entertaining on the eyes. Despite being at the wrong end of the table Novos used the match to blood some colts as Adam MacDonald
was invited to be part of the match day environment. However, 18 year old Sam Dayson
and 17 year old Euan Duncan
were selected in the 18 man squad for their home debuts. A great advertisement for the clubs youth set up.
We dominated the early exchanges with Tommy Goodman
, Ollie Dearden
and Pete Twentyman
getting the better of the Barney front row who probably could have been penalised a few times for collapsing and/or standing up. In addition, Chris Ward
and Nick Arbuckle
were cleaning up in the line out. After several mins of pressure in Barney's 22m they managed to breakaway and score against the run of play. Novos 0, Barnard Castle 5.
The flow of play see sawed back and forth as both teams looked to play a high tempo brand of rugby that everyone watching could enjoy. We got on the scoreboard as Sam Rowntree
went over to make it 5 all. However, soft tries were to cost us all day and Barnard Castle nabbed a try as they over through the line out but the ball bounced away from us and sat up for one of their backs to pick up, kick into space and score. Novos 5, Barnard Castle 12.
Our turn again as we got over the gain line with some strong carries and some good back play. This time it was Jez Nash breaking through to score next to the posts. Conversion added by Greg Humphreyson
to make it 12 all with half time looming.
After a series of surges Martin Fearon
was yellow carded for clearing out a defender whilst we were attacking. Keeping Barney quiet with 14 man proved a difficult task as they scored from a quick tap to make the half time score 17-12.
We were in the game up until this point but Barnard Castle then got the better of us as their possession stats went up via the whistle and some inaccuracy form our part. First we lost a scrum on our line despite a clean hook and the opposition nine pounced for a soft converted try. Then we were put back in our half after a couple of whistles and some breaks by their backs led to two more scores. Somehow despite our set piece dominance we had been completely out played by Barney's ability to off load and stretch our defence. They had taken the score form 17-12 to 43-12 by the 60th minute.
Novos undaunted by the score line knowing a bonus point could be huge in the relegation proceedings went for it. First Ollie Dearden
went over from a driven line out, conversion added from wide out by Rory Duncan
. Then Sam Busby
went over after a long range break from Jez Nash. Conversion again added by Duncan to make the full time score Novos 26, Barnard Castle 43.
Despite the loss it was a real positive day as we competed for 60 out of the 80 mins against a side second in the league. Euan Duncan
and Sam Dayson
made their home debuts, a real boost for our youth section.
There were strong performances from the forwards at set piece time and Pete Twentyman
got through an incredible amount of work at the break down. It was great to see Chris Ward
back in the first team squad after some time out from the game and he and Nick Arbuckle
won the line out battle. Martin Fearon
but in a lot of tackles and Sam Rowntree
carried us over the gain line again and again. Out in the backs I thought our two centres combined beautifully. Jez Nash made a lot of breaks and set up Sam Busby
for the bonus point try at the end of the game. Busby defended well and got 3-4 good turnovers.
Next week, it's Gateshead at home. Huge !