Novo’s Super 2s vs Tynedale 2s
It was a canny day for rugby at Sutherland Park when Tynedale 2s travelled down from Corbridge for the first game of the season.
Novo’s were able to name a strong squad for the first league game of the campaign. Novo’s had a mixture of new faces looking to impress and a few older heads returning to marshal the side. The front 3 were made up by 1, Christian ‘I’m a 9’ Selkirk, 2, Callum Taylor (making his debut for Novo’s) and 3, Brendan ‘Topknot B######’ Thomas. In the row they were backed up by 4, Birdy and 5, Jack Salt. At the back of the scrum were 6, Luke Foster, 7, Alex Cokeley (on debut) and 8, Shaun Stewart. In the back Sam Dayson was looking to get the team moving from 9. At fly half saw a welcome return to a Novo’s shirt in Harradice. Centre partnership was formed of Angus Duncan and Mark Stewart (on debut). The last line of defence on the wings and full back Peter ‘tell us a joke’ Kay, Cameron Spence fresh after scoring on his first team debut against Ashington last week and Rory Duncan.
Bench – Sam Jermy (on debut), Stephen Hughes-Narborough (on debut), Stephen Wood (on debut), Tim Hart (on debut), JP Addison, Will Darragh, Shaun ‘lasted longer than he would in bed’ O’Connell
While our new glorious leader for the super 2s Josef Stalin Pratt was absent due to playing a stupid game with a stick (cricket), the responsibilities to captain the team fell on club man and all round wanker Shaun Stewart.
During the opening exchanges of the game Novo’s defence struggled to get to grips with the quick offloading game by Tynedale and poor tackling allowing the Tynedale player to go into contact on his own terms and offloading or going to ground as the support player arrived. Tynedale were showing why they will be one of the teams challenging at the top of the league until the game changer of a sub appeared, or so we thought. Shaun O’Connell came on to replace Christian ‘I’m a 9’ Selkirk after a pathetic shift. O’Connell came on and immediately made an impact as he put a massive hit in on one of Tynedales bigger runners and turned the ball over and then smashed through the Tynedale defence. He wasn’t finished. After making the first initial break O’Connell went back in for more and made another break through the heat of the Tynedale defence before being dragged down. This was one of the greatest cameo roles I have ever seen in a game. Sadly it only lasted 2 minutes and 22 seconds. Then he retired with a bad back. The prick.
After the heroics of O’Connell, Richard Harrison tried to replicate the display after the Tynedale centre made a break, offloading to the number 8 meters away from the line. Harradice scrunched himself into a ball and threw himself into the body of the number 8. Sadly it wasn’t enough to stop the 8 crossing the line but it got a laugh from Shaun Stewart and the ref.
HT score 0v48 - The score line could have been a load more but for the defence and last ditch tackles made from the back line in particular Peter Kay and Cameron Spence.
The half time talk from the stand in Captain Shaun Stewart was quite simple. Let’s have a go at one of the best teams in the league and get a few tries. Backing each other in defence and in attack. When we actually put some pressure on Tynedale in defence we forced errors in to the game. After the Half Time chat the lads looked fired up and wanted to prove a point in the 2nd half.
Unfortunately for Jonny Bird I don’t think he was listening during the half time team talk (does he ever?)
Tynedale’s number 8 caught the ball and Birdy came up to put pressure on and tried to tackle the kid high. As Birdy went in for the tackle the number 8 smashed him with a hand off sending Birdy flying.
Novo’s started growing every minute in the second half and started really threatening the Tynedale defence. The pressure on the Tynedale defence finally caved. Novo’s forwards started the attack with a well-executed Ireland as the forwards recycled the ball well at the back and managed to find an overlap for Cameron Smith to feed Rory Duncan in space to race in untouched. Rory added the additional 2 points.
Novo’s weren't finished as they crossed the line again. From a scrum on 20 meters Shaun Stewart broke from the back of the scrum down the blindside, with Rory and Cameron outside of him, he managed to draw the Tynedale full back before releasing a inch perfect pass to Rory on the charge who dummied the winger and raced in for his 2nd and Novo’s 2nd try of the game. Sadly Angus Duncan took a canny bad hit to the head and was a bit dazed. Lucky his brother Rory was on hand to look after him when he took the hit and after the match. FT Novo’s 12 v Tynedale 72.
Thank you to the ref for taking the game. He allowed both teams to play at a high tempo and he managed the breakdowns brilliantly. Also a big thank you to the Tynedale lads. They deserved their win but we pushed them more than the score line showed. Lastly I would like to thank the Novo’s lads. I thought the attitude from the lads was impeccable and they fought right to the last minute to try and get something out of the game. The whole squad made a massive contribution to this game.
By Shaun Stewart aged 29