Novos 14, Westoe 69 - Big Away Loss
By Magnus Leask
Game and momentum lost at Westoe after a great 3-4 weeks filled with league and cup wins. However, yesterday was a tough day out.
A humbling experience to go back to my father's old club with a weakened side for a 69-14 loss. Whilst it was great to look at the old photos and speak to some old friends the match itself was not a great spectacle through my Novos tinted glasses !
We did start brightly taking it to Westoe - from a kick deep into our 22m the ball was tidied up by league debutant Tim Hart with possession secured by Tom Cox at the breakdown. Eventually the ball was fed to Jonny Ward who raced in from 60m out for a great solo try. Conversion added by Shaun Stewart to make it 7-0 after just ten mins.
Westoe responded as the penalty count mounted against us, some rightly so as we made some poor decisions under pressure. Westoe dominated the scrum battle as Novos struggled in the absence of regular front rowers Josh Stacey and Luke Menzfeld. Westoe secured their four try bonus point with a score on the stroke of half time. Each try scored 90 secs after we had made an error in possession, lost a line out or missed touch.
Half time chat was mainly about trying to have more fun and making the game a little bit harder for our opponents.
We started the second half with a fantastic attack up the hill as Jonny Ward broke up field and we nearly scored after several excellent offloads. Westoe found it much tougher for the first 10-15 mins of the second half before the flood gates opened. Amid tries raining ion left, right and centre Sean Ramsay broke through for a score, converted by Stewart.
The eventual score was 69-14 as Westoe were two powerful and bullied us at scrum time which secured them a wealth of possession and denied us opportunities to attack. However, most of their first half play came from our inaccuracy at set piece and kicking game. I wish Westoe well and I am sure they will move into the top four and push the top of the table clubs all the way.
Ben Merrett was awarded man of the match for 80 mins of toil - honourable mention in dispatches for Sean Ramsay. Richard of the Day was a joint effort as Euan Duncan got lost for the second week in a row - this time he and Tom Cox circled Westoe's ground several times seemingly unable to turn into the ground !
Thank you to the ref who had an awful drive up the A19 by the sounds of it. Couldn't complain much but after his briefing I was surprised that the Westoe lad only got a yellow for kneeing a Novos player on the floor. Made a lot less mistakes than my players, for sure.
Novos - a disrupted week at training didn't help but somethings are unavoidable. We can say that we will do better with a stronger side out next time but Saturdays are all about what you put out on the grass. We need to get some hard work done at training this week and bring some enthusiasm as a lot of energy sapped from us on Saturday.
Next week we have a home match against Hartlepool Rovers as well as three other men's fixtures.
Up the Vos !