Newark 2s Suffer Heavy Defeat at the Hands of Nottingham University Students
By DAVID GODFREY
Newark 2nds 5, Nottingham University Development XV 91
In a change to the scheduled fixture, the 2s ended up taking on the Nottingham University Development Side on pitch 2 at Kelham Road this week in the Notts Cup, and if they thought they’d had a a tough outing the week before, they now found themselves matched against an even fitter and better-drilled side than Sutton Bonnington.
To compound their woes, late cry-offs, call-ups to the first team, injury and lack of availability had left them seriously short in the front row and with players behind them out of position both in the scrum and the line, they were always going to struggle.
The net result of this was that the students scored 15 tries to Newark’s 1, not helped by playing the final quarter with only 14 men, the result of a technical red card against scrum half Ben Ennels.
Nonetheless, as always, there were some positives. Colts Ed Armstrong and Danny Wilson both performed well on their first runout for the 2s and can console themselves with the knowledge that this is by some margin the toughest side they will come up against at the moment in senior rugby at Newark, certainly at second team level. Haydn Godfrey, Josh Barret and Will Clayton worked tirelessly in the back row together with Fothers and Ross Verrills to try and stem the tide, with Godfrey stepping in to prop alongside brother Daniel at hooker when Sam Brown went off after a tough shift. Colt Ben Skelton did his best to defend against what seemed to be an inevitable 3 man overlap, despite ultimately losing a fairly one-sided battle.
Newark’s best moments - and their only try - came when they kept ball in hand and adopted a pick and go strategy straight up the pitch, and they always looked dangerous when they did this, with Alex Jackson leading the effort, as he so often does, providing inspiration under difficult circumstances. Ultimately though, this was a game the 2’s will want to chalk up to experience and move on from – they will get the opportunity when they travel to Derby next week to play Derby 3s.
Try: Alex Jackson