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1st XV - Match centre

Sat 25 Mar 15:00 - Midlands Division - Midlands 2 East (North) Full time


Two bonus points from a game which might well have offered more

Newark earned two bonus points from an entertaining match on Ladies’ Day at Kelham Road but victory slipped away in the hectic late stages. Fly half Alex Scott scored two tries and one each came from backs Billy Charles and Aloesi Waqalevu.

Report by Andrew Fearn

On a bright, sunny day, Newark pushed their visitors, Coalville, all the way.

Newark attacked from the start and won a penalty for a push. Their early pressure paid dividends when some smart off-loading by the forwards enabled the ball to be spun left to Alex Scott who ran in the try.

Unfortunately, the conversion was missed but the try had been one of the slickest seen at Kelham Road all season. Coalville did their best to respond quickly but the game descended into a midfield stalemate with mistakes from both sides.

Coalville became more dominant and began to put the Newark defence under real pressure. Some excellent defence work in the Newark 22 was finally undone when the Coalville right winger crossed for a try. The conversion was missed and the score level at 5-5.

The pressure on the Newark defence continued and after a quarter of the game, Newark had conceded seven penalties to the single one by their opponents. Eventually another penalty in front of the posts gave Coalville the chance to kick themselves into a three point lead.

Newark fought back and some sharp passing down the right ended with a knock on and the scrum went to the opposition.

However, Newark maintained the pressure and were rewarded with a penalty opportunity some 10 metres outside the Coalville 22.

Scott slotted the penalty to level the score at 8 all after 35 minutes. A midfield breakaway by Coalville led to a penalty in front of the Newark posts and a yellow card for Newark lock, Mikey Boyd.

The kick put Coalville ahead by three points and Newark would have settled for this at half time. However, some sharp thinking by the Coalville attackers led to a try from a tapped penalty deep in the Newark 22.

The sides changed ends with the score at 8-16 which probably slightly flattered the visitors. The start of the second half saw a renaissance from Newark with three tries in quick succession.

Scott gave Coalville some of their own medicine and scored from a quickly taken tap penalty. He went on to convert his own try.

The restart saw Newark on the attack again and after a series of pick and go’s by the forwards, Scott fed Billy Charles with a nicely weighted pass and this enabled Charles to beat two defenders to cross the try line for another try.

The conversion was missed but a poor defensive kick by Coalville was gathered by Dave Garland who made good ground before spinning it left to Robbie Hunter-Shaw who, in turn, fed Chaz Dixon who then put Aloesi Waqalevu free on the left to beat a defender and score. It was heady stuff; three tries in 13 minutes for a lead of 25-16.

It wasn’t long before Coalville fought back and scored after Newark failed to ensure their close defence round the maul was in place. The try was converted to leave the score on a knife edge at 25-23.

Newark sought to shore up the position by using all their bench but injuries later in the game meant that there were some returnees! An injury to replacement, Chris Tate, meant a return to the fray for Matt Clark.

The final period saw some sustained pressure from the visitors who were denied a score by a try-saving tackle by Hunter- Shaw.

Unfortunately for Newark, the pressure led to a penalty right in front of the posts which meant an easy three points for Coalville.

Newark were behind by one point but had a final opportunity to win the game with a long penalty chance by Scott. Unfortunately, he pulled it wide and Newark had to settle for two bonus points from a game which might well have offered more.

Newark team: Hunter-Shaw; Charles, Dixon, Waqalevu, Chapple; Scott, Clark; Dunning, Bartsch, Hempstead, Boyd, Statham, Poulson, Crosby, Garland.

Subs: Barnsdale, Tate, Riley.

Tries: Scott (2), Charles, Waqalevu.

Conversions: Scott (1)

Penalties: Scott (1)

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Team selection

Team selection has not been published for this fixture yet.

League round up

League table

# Team Pl Pts
1. Melbourne 22 79
2. Coalville 22 78
3. Ashbourne 22 74
4. Matlock 22 71
5. Southwell 22 70
6. Newark 22 66
7. Loughborough 22 64

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