Morpeth beat the 2s as they fall apart in the last 10 minutes
Spirits were high- Brendan, despite having been promoted to the first team squad had still followed through on his promise to supply a crate of beer
Spirits were high- Brendan, despite having been promoted to the first team squad had still followed through on his promise to supply a crate of beer. As the team began to appear at the club house it was clear that there was a serious intent to beat Morpeth as over the past few seasons many players had been on the receiving end of a good ol’ fashioned ass whoopin’ at the hands of our northern neighbours. Shaun Stewart who has been at the club since the early seventies even proclaimed to have never beaten Morpeth.
The squad looked strong despite some last minute rearrangements that saw many players pilfered by the first team, Shaun Stewart was extremely bemused as to why he hadn’t been promoted. A fully committed warm up ensued with people charging around with good intent and even a ball being trialled at the back of the lineout (just once). Half way through the warm up Rich Harrison arrived looking rougher than a bag of smashed crabs muttering something about Shaun having forced 10 pints down his neck the night before- a chocolate bar later and all was forgotten. It later ensued that both Shaun and Rich had been doing the team a favour as they had been getting quite pissed with the match day referee the night before so as to ingratiate the team even further with the local refereeing society, exemplary team work
After much shouting and threats of death, the ever-youthful Ian Pratt marched his troops out to a gloriously sunny day at Sutherland Park. The first half started off well with Shaun Stewart knocking over a couple of scores and the highly impressive Mark Stewart touching down over their tryline for first blood to Novos. The defence was holding strong and being marshalled well by Rich Harrison. Alex Cokely put in a very tenacious shift on the flank, doing all the hard graft and perhaps not getting the reward he always deserved. In the open, Ben Merret was rolling back the years and skipping through tackles for fun whilst new lad Charlie Ward was punching holes through the opposition defensive line at will.
As the second half began the score was even and both sides were giving there all. Morpeth had more possession and their one out rugby was causing the Novos defence to tire. Yet another heroic performance from young heartthrob Cam Spencer at fullback saw him bravely tackle some of the big lumps steaming down on him and Michael Berret was bravely taking a battering from their back row. As the defence tired, substitutions were made, and it was at this point that the floodgates opened and Morpeth scored three quick tries taking the game away from Novos. It was heart-breaking to watch as the effort and will was clearly present but the fitness let the side down along with a slight breakdown in communication.
No one could be faulted for a lack of commitment on the day, it was a sterling effort from everyone involved. It is now time to knuckle down and try and develop some consistency within the team so we can head back up to Morpeth later in the season and beat them.
Report by Jack Salt two weeks late