Tough Test Provided By Tarleton
Good first half performance undone by second half lull
The Fleetwood second string went into the game in good spirits and with a good squad on paper. Unfortunately, problems arose when Nautical College lad Jamie Hearne arrived late and the young Connor Rothery who no showed, when he couldn't summon the energy to rise out of bed, after what we heard was a bit of a wild and eventful night.
This led to a little bit of shuffling and Alex Obiorah being called up last minute from the third team.
The game started with the home team on the back foot, as the well drilled Tarleton team relentlessly attacked the line. Only resolute tackling kept them at bay. Fleetwood were awarded a scrum on their own 5 metre line for their hard work. Like clockwork, the usually sublime Fleetwood scrum pushed over their opposite numbers and won the ball back. Unfortunately, a breakdown in communication at the back of the scrum, led to an away player pouncing on a loose ball to score.
From the restart Fleetwood clawed themselves back into the game and started reestablishing the pace they wanted to play to. Tempers began to fray as an away forward took the opportunity to stamp on veteran Barnes on the floor. This led to a ten minute breather for him.
As Fleetwood moved down the pitch they knocked on into touch on the 22. The official gave the visitors the choice of the scrum or line out and rather confusingly, they elected for the scrum with one less man in the pack.
The home side took complete advantage, as they pushed their opponents over and won the ball back. The ball was quickly shifted out wide where Canadian full back Canning scored in the corner for his first try for the club. Conversion missed.
Fleetwood then piled on the pressure as they continued to make use of their one man advantage, pushing the away defenders back to their own line. The ball eventually got to Prop Gregson, who was hovering in deep in his 'favoured' Centre position, smashed through two tacklers to get over the line. Amor with the conversion.
The first half ended in a bit of confusion, Tarleton used their extra man, now back on the pitch, to good affect to get back on the scoreboard as the official had seemed to have forgotten his rule book after missing a few indiscretions in play.
The end of the first half became a bit of a running theme as the official continued to make some questionable calls for both sides. Unfortunately for 'Fleet, the away side were the team that adapted to his quirks and started piling the points on the home side, who were beginning to tire and acquire injuries.
The high point of the second half came from Nautical Lad Callum Rocks who picked the ball up and crashed over the line from short range. Conversion missed.
Full Time: 17-43
Tries: Canning; Gregson; Rocks.
This was a big improvement in quality and effort from the 90 nil drubbing at Southport. Fleetwood gave themselves a good account of themselves. Tarleton in the end ran out deserved winners, even if the scoreline maybe flattered them a little.
Man of the Match
Difficult decision this week. The forwards showed their dominance in scrum and in contact and the backs showed what they could given time and space. The likes of Gregson, Rocks, Barnes and McCann impressing in the forwards, with Amor and commonwealth imports Canning and Australian rugby league import Heilbronn giving good accounts of themselves.
This week MOTM goes to Liam Gornall, who started out of position, made his hits and loved taking the ball forward, whilst also giving the same level of intensity when switching to flank due to injuries.
The Weekly Sam Pook Report
Sam was hiding on a ship again. So I can only assume that his Line Outs are still terrible and his crew mates must have fantasized about pushing over board due to his 'banter'.
Fleetwood are on the road again to newly promoted Colne & Nelson. 3pm KO.
Squad: 15. Canning; 14. Obiorah; 13. Gornall; 12. Heilbronn; 11. Bowker; 10. Amor; 9. Crompton; 1. Foden; 2. Astin; 3. Gregson; 4. Wood; 5. Rocks; 6. Barnes; 7. Heer; 8. McCann; 16. O'Hara; 17. Jackson; 18. Hearne.