Under-16s head to NLD Final
Newark 24 Paviors 22
The Under-16s head to the Three counties Cup final on April 7,the second NLD final for this group of players and it was done in nail biting fashion with the last kick of the match - a penalty from full back Ben Lee (at the second attempt!) which Owen Farrell would have been proud of…
On a very heavy pitch, Newark went ahead with two early tries from centre George Bacon and prop Ryan Turukowsky.
Both were well worked scores with multiple phases committing Paviors to the breakdown, stretching their defence and creating holes.
Perhaps, confidence was too high after a near perfect start to the game and two sloppy errors allowed Paviors back in, with a couple of frustrating scores.
After more sustained pressure and excellent ball retention, the momentum of the game looked to have shifted when Newark lost their skipper and ‘turnover machine’ George Coen, who had to leave the field with a serious knee injury.
The coaching team steadied the ship and Newark reverted to the game plan with some dynamic work at the breakdown and an ‘Exeter style’ try after several pick and goes round the corner of the ruck - Finn Milligan finishing the move with four Pavs players failing to hold him up over the line.
The Newark pack continued to dominate both scrum and the break down but some uncharacteristic handling errors (and a few wayward line-out throws!) gifted the ball to the dangerous Paviors backline who were a constant threat through their potent back three.
Almost inevitably, Paviors ran in two tries out wide and crept into the lead, 21-22, for the first time in the match with 10 minutes to play.
Paviors were now camped 10-metres from Newark’s try line but the U16’s ‘multi-phase’ rugby ethos and a 25 metre rampage from Ryan Turlukowsy saw Newark break into the opposition 22.
Under pressure, Pavs were forced to infringe at the breakdown which presented Ben Lee with the opportunity to write himself into the NRFC history books...
Just to add to the drama, his first attempt drifted to the right but was retaken due to some excitable Paviors forwards attempting to charge down the penalty!
The referee ordered a re-take and Ben calmly stroked home the winning kick.
The touchline erupted and the boys celebrated their progression to the final – Ben’s dad could be seen grinning widely for the remainder of the afternoon.
A well-deserved and hard fought victory which was a real indicator of the fitness, composure and confidence that exists in this group of young men.
Final - Derby at Scunthorpe on the 7 April…
Report submitted by Rob Wildman
Report by Paul Bratton