Novos 62 , Ponteland 20 - Novos Blow Ponteland Away
By Magnus Leask
Novos scored 19 pts in the first 12 mins on their way to a resounding 62-20 victory at Ponteland. Up the Vos !
A decent week of prep done and not many changes to the side that beat Stockton at home last Saturday. Josh Stacey came in for Luke Menzfeld and Tom Cox making his debut from the bench after two fine performances for the 2's.
The weeks prep came to the fore as Novos rocked Ponteland from the off as we went at them upfront getting over the gain line on almost every carry. This perhaps caught Ponteland by surprise as a planned move saw our forwards outflank their opponents allowing Adam McDonald to crash over after just three mins.
Our second try was again created up front as Sean Ramsay was making some yardage around the ruck. This created a mismatch for Rich Harrison to glide around their prop before putting through a well weighted grubber for Sam Busby to score. Conversion added by Shaun Stewart to make it 12-0.
After 12 mins we were in again as Harrison kicked to the corner and we out flanked our opponents for the second time from the set piece for Josh Stacey to score. Another planned score although Stacey was really supposed to have gone round the corner as the ball found him rather than he found the ball ! Conversion added by Stewart, 19-0 and time for Ponteland to wake from their slumber.
The next 20 mins was very competitive as both sides had moments but no further scores were added. Until Alex Littlefair put debutant Tom Cox in under the posts after a great pass whilst under pressure. Half time score 26-0 after Stewart added an easy conversion.
We were never going to have everything our own way and Ponteland rallied. It was their turn to dominate the gain line and they got in behind us. We scrambled but were short in behind and their 15 put through an excellent grubber for score. It was obvious that he had been well schooled in the art of kicking to space by a knowledgeable teacher !! Conversion added and some more decent rugby won them a kickable penalty to make it 26-10 game on.
With Ponteland showing signs of revival we upped the ante and put numbers into the breakdown. We were rewarded with winning the numbers game as Ponteland had to commit attackers to win the ball. Then once they moved it we were able to win several pens jackaling the ball. From one of these penalties at half way Harrison kicked into the corner. From the five metre lineout we rumbled over for Daniel Shuttleworth to score. 31-10 to Novos after 52 mins.
Our next try came from another Ponteland turnover as Sam Busby crashed over out wide for a 36-10 score line. A nice moment in the match then occurred as Busby scorched up the middle from a Euan Duncan off load. He put away George Bambrick for his first senior try which he celebrated all the way to the line. Conversion added by Stewart 43-10.
Our next try was a joy to watch as Littlefair grabbed another Ponteland lineout, this one on our own 5m. We carried it forward through McDonald. On the next play it would've been easier to kick or carry but Jez Nash made a great shout for the ball to be moved out the back. An unstructured defence was torn apart as Busby ran one in from 70m. Conversion added by Greg Humphreyson. 50-10
Ponteland grabbed the next score as they went seeking a consolation bonus point to make it 50-15. they would need two tries in the last 8 mins but would only get one more to be denied by Novos.
Our last two tries were by Tom Cox and Jonny Ward who ran in another 70-80m try to make the final score 62-10 as a conversion was added by Humphreyson.
A real complete team performance as the things we worked on in training were executed beautifully. Our forwards dominated the gain line battle for most of the match creating space and time for our backs. The set piece was solid on our ball and we nicked a load of their lineouts via Alex Littlefair. When they did secure possession and our tackle quality was good jackalers like Sean Ramsay, Jez Nash and Pete Twentyman won us the ball back. Paddy Sowter and Rich Harrison led us round the field very well but were given a front foot ride by our dominant pack. Out wide we showed some real pace and Jez Nash made some great decisions in attack
Man of the Match was young Adam McDonald who had hoped for a good performance as their is some competition for shirts in the pack at the moment. Sam Busby despite his try scoring prowess was awarded Richard of the Day for looking to put a kick through but missed the ball.
Ponteland lads - two good performances against City and Gateshead and we really invested in starting well to ensure you didn't stay on a roll for long. Hopefully, you will bounce back next week and I enjoyed catching up with your county rep in Larry Mew as well as buying Old Allanian Oscar Redman a pint.
Thank you to Paul Minto for officiating. It was a very open game and I am sure you got your steps done for the day !
Next week we have a match at home to Whitby. As newcomers to the league they will have targeted certain opponents for wins and based on last seasons placing I am sure we are one of them. So back to work it is to avoid complacency in what will be a much changed side by the time Saturday comes around.
A good weekend of rugby for the Vos as we won 3 out of our 4 fixtures and shared a few beers together after the 1800 speeches.
Up the Vos !!