Novos 38, Horden 17 - Another Home Win
By Magnus Leask
Novos moved to 9-1 at home with a win over Horden on a wind Saturday afternoon at Sutherland Park
The match kicked off with the wind at Novos backs and we went at Horden from the off with strong carries from Josh Stacey, Sean Ramsay, Tom Winning. and Mark Leckie. Some great continuity by the team led to Darren Kelly off loading out of a double tackle on the 7th phase of possession. Tom Cox ran onto the ball and stepped the fullback to score under the posts. Conversion added by Shaun Stewart to make it 7-0.
Our starts in home matches this season have been unreal with a real desire to not let our opponents settle into the match. Paddy Sowter and Rich Harrison kicked well ensuring that Horden were forced back into their 22m. A poor Horden clearance was fielded by Lewis Chaterwho the threw a wide pass to Mark Leckie who headed for the middle of the field. Leckie timed a beautiful pass for Tom Winning to run in from 55 metres out. Amazing counter. especially given that Winning had just made a tackle prior to the kick downfield. Novos up 14- 0 after the conversion by Shaun Stewart.
Horden are a real momentum side and things swung their way for a period as we struggled with the weight of their pack and a nice line out move at the front. Their hooker rampaged down the side line and was tackled by Lewis Chater in a stick being jammed into a bike wheel sort of way. Horden looked certain to score when Alex Littlefair infringed at the ruck - obvious yellow and we were down to 14. Our opponents used the man advantage well and soon crashed over to make it 14-5.
The visitors were on to despite being into the wind and carried hard. Some great defence from our boys though as we got our heads up and shut down space. On one of these occasions Daniel Shuttleworth read the attack and caught a pass on the fly. The hooker then ran it in from 55 metres - a joy to behold although many would consider Shuttlleworth to be too mobile to be considered a fully fledged member of the front row club. Conversion added by Stewart so Novos ahead 21-5.
The half finished with Shaun Stewart fielding a kick and breaking the line. A scrambling Horden defence was then picked off with an inside ball from Pete Twentyman to Tom Winning. The centre motored in from 60m out to cap a fine first half display. Conversion made by Stewart for a 28-5 half time score.
We once again started the half well with carries by Josh Stacey and Sean Ramsay but it was not all our way as we lost Pete Twentyman to a shoulder injury.
From a Horden driven line out Darren Kelly somehow appeared out the back of their maul with the ball. Awesome Sonny Bill off load to Daniel Shuttleworth who couldn't quite repeat his heroics of the first half. He was stopped a metre out but Paddy Sowter picked up the ball at the base of the ruck and dived over to extend the lead to 33-5.
Horden have always been a tough opponent and they battled back into the game. We were penalised for not rolling away from a collapsed maul much to the annoyance of our forwards. This allowed Horden to kick deep into our half - strong carry off the line out and they were in behind us. Quick pick and go at the breakdown and they were over to close the gap to 33-12.
Buoyed by the score Horden got on a roll - a bit of rugby league broke out as it was very effective one pass then carry tactics. They got control of the gain line battle which led to penalties as we tried to chase turnovers. Horden went in for a fine team try on 60 mins making the score 33-17 and threatening to get something out of the game.
However, it was Novos that finished scoring matters as Shaun Stewart grabbed the kick off and bounced off a defender. Play was eventually moved wide to Josh Stacey. The big loose head broke a couple of tackles, ran 20 metres and then looked to almost trip over the try line ! Novos win 38-17.
Thank you to Richard Gates for running the game. Was played in fine spirits and he created an enjoyable afternoon of rugby for both sets of players.
Horden - really appreciate you sticking around to join in the speeches as well - wouldn't expect anything else from your group.
Novos - great to get the double over a strong side which has caused us a lot of trouble in past meetings. Moved our home record than impressive 9-1. Man of the Match was awarded by our opposition to Sean Ramsay and Richard of the Day to Josh Stacey for his belly flop over the line. Not all good news though as Pete Twentyman and Luke Menzfeld picked up injuries.
Huge week of training with Graeme Cooper, Andy Holman and Rob Vickers (Thurs only) lads before taking on Westoe in the National Cup.
Up the Vos !