Consett 25-34 Novocastrians
Novos edge out Consett at Amethyst Park
After a great start to the season last week, Consett RFC were desperate to build some momentum going into the winter months. Novos however had other ideas.
With Joe Trott and Steven Pendleton both completing the Great North Run this weekend, Consett were forced to make 2 changes to the starting team from last week. Tom Johnson moved to scrum half and Alex Paulus made his long awaited return to the number 10 shirt after a knee injury. Jack Clark returned to the starting team on the wing and Jon Benson came onto the bench with James Watson and Alex Murphy.
Consett started the game well and had the best of the early exchanges and were rewarded on 9 minutes with a penalty converted by Nick Cook. Cook knocked over another penalty a few minutes later to make the score 6-0. The next period of the game was dominated with errors from both sides as the difficult conditions made handling difficult. It took until the 23 minute mark for the next score which went to Novos. The Novos forwards were peppering the Consett try line but some fantastic goal line defence kept the visitors at bay. That was until an infringement led to a penalty that Novos took quickly and finally breached the home defence. The conversion was unsuccessful, 6-5.
Consett were next to hit back 6 minutes later following a strong centre field scrum and some good hands leading to Mark Lee crashing over in the corner for his first league try of the season. Kick unsuccessful, 11-5.
Novos were next to hit back with a penalty in front of the sticks to close the gap. The home side stretched their lead just 2 minutes later when a fantastic midfield break by Ryan Williams saw Alex Paulus cross the line after some good support play. Cook missed the difficult conversion, 16-8.
Consett were now being put under a lot of pressure by the strong visiting pack and the pressure paid off just before half time. A strong rolling maul off a lineout resulted in a try for Novos and this left the home team with just a 3 point lead going into the break.
The Novos pack were now dominating the set piece and they once again produced a high quality maul that made them 20+ meters. The stretched defence of Consett was lacking in organisation and holes were starting to appear. The Novos scrum half was quick to spot the gap outside of the ruck and played through a rampaging Novos forward. A simple 2 on 1 saw Novos take the lead with a try on 46 minutes. The Novos 10 slotted the kick to make the scores 16-20.
After leading for most of the game, the Consett team were beginning to feel the pressure and were making some errors. One error that proved to be extremely costly to the hosts was a non-existent kick chase around the 50 minute mark that saw the speedy Novos 13 coast through the Consett defence who unselfishly hit the support runner to secure the try bonus point. The kick was knocked over again, 16-27.
Consett were now chasing the game and upper their play to increase the pressure on Novos. A string of pressure and infringements from Novos saw Nick Cook knock over 3 penalties to reduce the Novos lead to just 2 points.
Consett were very much on top at this point but were dealt a hammer blow on 75 minutes when some slack defence on the left wing allowed Novos to score their 5th try and put the game beyond Consett.
The game ended 25-34 with Novos the deserved victors. Their superiority in the set piece and a clinical set of backs proved to be the difference between the sides.
Consett now need to regroup and go back to the drawing board if they are to bounce back with a victory at Ryton. Consett will always score points but need to cut out the silly errors in defence if they want to challenge for the top 2 this season. See you next week!