North ease past Frampton in opening day victory
New debutant Alex scores a brace
The first day of the new rugby season was just the trigger Mother Nature needed to remind us that Autumn is on its way. With an easterly wind blowing in from Siberia towards the clubhouse and drizzly grey rain descending at 45 degrees, North welcomed Frampton to Oaklands for their opening match. Players were straining at the leash to put the drills, practiced in training, into action and expectations were high at kick off.
North gave warm welcomes to Mackenzie on his return to his spiritual home and also to debutant Alex, making his first appearance in North colours. Unfortunately, Frampton were low on numbers so five North players volunteered to play for them to bring the numbers up to 13-a-side.
Captain Alfie, celebrating his 14th birthday and wearing a fetching blue skull cap to protect a wound from a rock (?), kicked off to get the first play of the season under way and the ball was well gathered by Frampton who had Jamie, Ed, Riley and the two Toms in their ranks for the first third. Plenty of endeavour was exhibited in a sporting contest, but scoring opportunities were rare until the 10th minute when Alex, in his first competitive match dived over in the left corner for the opening score. The initial opening was created by a fantastic offload in the tackle by Mac to Joe, who unselfishly fed Alex on his outside shoulder. Conversion was missed by Alfie.
For the second third, coach Andy swapped over loan players with James, Isaac, Jake, Matt and Mike volunteering for Frampton. Again, there was plenty of effort from both sides, but signs of rustiness were apparent with balls being dropped and catches missed. The score remained 5-0 to North until the 10th minute when debutant Alex picked up a loose ball near half way and sped down the pitch to make his second touch down; 10-0 to North (con missed).
Three minutes later, from a North scrum, Tom Bennett made an excellent break from deep and jinked his way past the Frampton defence to cross over under the posts to leave Alfie with an easy conversion opportunity which he duly converted. 17-0 to North
For Q3, James and Isaac were joined on the Frampton side by Riley, Jamie and Tom Bullock. Unfortunately, the loan players had limited opportunity to contribute to Frampton’s cause as the visitors kept the ball narrow, relying on their core players, especially Nick to try to break through. In the eighth minute Nick crossed the North try line, but, in his effort to get near the posts, he lost control of the ball and North were able to clear to safety. This miss was compounded just before the final whistle, when Joe Bees picked up a loose ball and used his speed and power to get over for North’s fourth and the final try of the match, to leave the final score 22-0 to North
This was a great run out for both teams, played, as always with Frampton, in a truly sporting manner. New starters Alex and Mac made significant contributions and will add great strength to the North squad.
Tries: Alex (2), Tom Bennett, Joe Bees
Cons: Alfie (1)