Novos 54, Whitby 15 - Ready For Next Challenge
By Magnus Leask
Determination to improve shown as Novos were disappointed in some of their play, despite a convincing win on the scoreboard.
We welcomed Whitby to Sutherland Park on Saturday after an improved performance against Gateshead last week saw them earn a losing bonus point. Changes were made from Novos due to unavailability of Jonny Ward, Ben Wollerton, Jez Nash and Tom Cox. In came, James Bass, Nick Bellamy, Ben Kelly from the two's and Ben Merrett after a fine display for our vets last Friday.
Whitby started the game well on the back of a good scrum and a few penalties for not rolling the went into the lead with a well struck penalty into the wind. Whitby 3, Novos 0.
We finally started playing with a bit of tempo as Pete Twentyman took a quick tap and drove us forward. Then Josh Stacey broke through a tackle to carry the 9 and 15 over the try line on his back. Conversion added by Shaun Stewart. From the kick off we turned the ball over after a big hit by Chris Law. The ball was moved to Sam Busby who tore down field before off loading on the inside for Nick Bellamy to score his first try for his new club. Conversion added by Stewart. Novos 14, Whitby 3.
Whitby failed to get the kick off ten metres so we were awarded a midfield scrum. We went right with a great long pass from Paddy Sowter hitting Busby out in front. Too much gas as he rounded the defender before stepping the fullback. Novos 21, Whitby 3 as Stewart kicked the easy conversion.
Despite the score line we were not responding to the refs instructions at times as Alex Littlefair was shown a yellow for not rolling away. The ref setting out that he wanted the breakdown clear as it was only our fourth penalty the game. Whitby used the man advantage to power over through their decent forward pack. The kick was definitely missed to make it Novos 21, Whitby 8.
We regained the initiative after some good defending drove the Whitby lads pack and we got a few turnovers from holding on. Again, we pressed hard as a speculative pass was plucked out of the air by Busby for his second score. Conversion added by Stewart from out in front. Novos up 28-8 at half time.
Novos had a plan regarding playing into the wind in the second half as Henry Wilson made his debut allowing Busby to move back to 15. However, our play looked some what disjointed as we lacked cohesion at times. Whitby scored with and intercepted pass to make it 28-15 and the visitors lifting their spirits. However, that would be their last points as Novos finally got back into gear and took on Whitby around the edges.
Nick Bellamy put in Henry Wilson for his first try for Novos with Stewart kicking the conversion from out wide and into the breeze. In quick session Sam Busby completed his hat-trick and Shaun Stewart scored to cap a fine display. The final score went to Ben Merrett who made a fine cameo off the bench as expected. Stewart kicked two out of the last three conversions to make the final score 54-15.
To the Whitby boys - best of luck for the rest of the season. Scrum dominated us but perhaps fell away in the latter stages to allow us a platform to have a go. Be intriguing if your league position is improved on the final day as I definitely had your score at 15 not 17 as the ref recorded it.
Thank you to the ref - penalty count was 7-7 which has to be the lowest total in my 20 years of rugby in England ! Liked the way he set his tone early doors at the breakdown which perhaps led to the low penalty count. Would like to see you develop your application of advantage but a good performance from the man in the middle.
Our boys - decent scoreboard and great to see a few of us realise that we still have a lot to develop. Some great tackling form Chris Law, Alex Littlefair and George Bambrick led the way. Paddy Sowter's distribution was key on a windy day and allowed time for our outside backs. I though the lads coming up from the two's played well and it was great to see Ben Merrett back in the squad. Sam Busby's three tries proved costly for him once again and Shaun Stewart was awesome at 12.
Man of the Match - Paddy Sowter
Richard of the Match - Nick Bellamy for slapping himself in the face after he missed touch
Great to hear that the 2's won at Boro and the 3's never gave up against a strong Berwick 2's side. Great environment at the club on Saturday night but a massive task ahead for the 1's as we travel to Barnard Castle next week. Haven't won their for a while but they did lose to an improving Gateshead side yesterday.
See you at training - Up The Vos !