‘VULCANS SPIRITED DISPLAY AGAINST CLASSY ROCK JUST NOT ENOUGH’
Facing a well organised and quick opposition the Vulcans played some good rugby but their effort, discipline and aggression earned nil reward
For Coach Rolly WILLIS selection was back to normal after one week into the season. He had to make several changes to the team due to injury and unavailability of a large number of frontline players testing the versatility of the players when he selected Phil SCANDLE in the second row and a new front row of veteran Scott Urwin, William Grice and Jon Lee and Daniel MacQUIOD coming into the back row.
Due to the injury of Mark SEDDON he welcomed back Robert Pyle after a season away to fill the fullback position. On the bench it was Dean Jefferson making his first team debut, Ellis BROWN and Ross McGrath who has just returned from a year in Cyprus. Remarkably there are six players in these selections who qualify as front row players!!!
The game took place on Whitley Bay’s new 3G pitch funded by the progressive RFU scheme to provide a number of such pitches throughout the country and would give a large number of players a new experience on a fantastic stage.
The game kicked off with Winlaton playing into a fairly stiff breeze and from the kick off started well making inroads into the Whitley Bay Rockliffe half and as a result forced the home side into transgressing at the breakdown and they conceded successive penalties. Winlaton elected to kick into the opposition 22 but lost the resulting lineout which unfortunately was going to be the repeated throughout the game due to the physical imbalance between the forwards and the chance was lost.
The hosts responded and showed their intent when they started a series of well drilled attacks through the forward and three-quarters with slick handling and offloads and due to desperate defence by Winlaton they conceded a penalty on 8MINS in their 22 which Rockliffe converted (3PTS). It was more of the same and again the Vulcans infringed on 12MINS and the home side kicked into the Winlaton 10metre zone and the inevitable happened the dominant forwards secured the ball and drove over the line (5PTS) + (2PTS).
The rest of the first quarter saw more of the same with Winlaton having to defend a barrage of attacks by Rockliffe but to their credit the Vulcans showing better discipline forced their hosts to infringe and concede a series of penalties. From one on 16MINS in the home sides half giving Winlaton the chance to put some points on the board but the 35 metre kick by PYLE went narrowly wide.
The next quarter was a repeat of the first with continuous attacks by Whitley Bay and stout defence by Winlaton attempting to stem the tide with LOWES, MCQUOID and JOSEBURY who was orchestrating everything good by Winlaton leading the aggressive tackling.
Another chance for the Vulcans came on 22MINS after again Rockliffe were penalised and PYLE kicked into their 10 metre area for another attacking lineout but they could not cope with the hosts physicality and organisation in that department and the ball and the chance to score was lost yet again.
The rest of the half saw Winlaton trying to get good ball to mount attacks of their own but blew another promising chance on 30MINS when they mounted an effort through the forwards seeing veteran URWIN taking the ball up the right feeding WHITMORE and onto PYLE but unfortunately he was halted just short of the line illegally and from the resultant penalty the ball was lost and home defence cleared the danger.
Winlaton continued their attacks but the ball was slow and when the moves broke down they couldn't afford to give teams like Rockliffe an advantage like that and loose ball gave them the opportunity to counter attack which they did on 34 and 3MINS when they scored a penalty and a 2 tries for a further (15PTS).
HALF TIME 25PTS – 0PTS
From the kick off Winlaton made the best of starts and for the first ten minutes launched attack after attack on the Rockliffe line with CORNWALL, LOWES, GRICE and PATTINSON driving forward but Whitley Bay were allowed to concede a series of penalties without punishment and finally Winlaton lost possession and gained nil reward for their efforts.
On 52MINS Winlaton lost a lineout in their own 22 and they conceded an unconverted try when the hosts went over in the corner (5PTS). Again on 55MINS when mounting an attack Winlaton gave up possession and Rockliffe ran the ball back form their own half again and finished off another slick handling move (7PTS).
Winlaton throughout the game operated the system of using their rolling subs continuously to give some momentum and such a policy had impact with JEFFERSON, MCGRATH and especially young Ellis Taylor who was putting in tackle after tackle to try and stem the tide of the Whitley Bay attacks.
The last quarter of the game continued in a similar pattern with Rockliffe counter attacking from all over the park and Winlaton to their credit never lost their shape and never gave up maintaining their discipline, defence and spirit but on 67MINS and 71MINS Rockliffe added a further two tries (12PTS) and the Vulcans unable to create a consolation score for their efforts.
FULL TIME 49PTS - 0PTS
Man of the Match Robert Pyle