Injury Ravaged Walsall Defeated Again
Newcastle 37 Walsall 17
Walsall, started this game with six of their regular players sidelined through injury. Less than a quarter of the game had been played and the visitors had already used all three of their replacements as a result of further injuries! It was their dynamic, young centre, Nico Watkins that was first to be forced off. This was quickly followed by flanker Elliot Clarke and then the replacement Jon Ford. An injury to winger Andy Worrollo meant that Walsall were reduced to fourteen players for the final ten minutes. This, however, should not detract from a good performance by the Newcastle squad. The visitors dictated play for the opening ten minutes. But with virtually their first visit deep into the Walsall half, the hosts produced a powerful drive from a lineout . It was flanker Gareth Parry that eventually secured the touchdown. The visitors responded quickly with George Perkins doing well to gather the restart and then Will Hennessey made a fine break. This forced the home team to concede a penalty which Roger Weston dispatched from twenty meters. It was then a similar pattern of play as the hosts pushed forward after the restart and they were awarded a penalty which Gross converted from twenty meters. The next five minutes saw the injured Walsall players having to leave the game. The final scores of the half came in the closing minutes. An excellent defence breaking run by Hal Gozukucuk was well supported by Jamie Hickman who went over for a try near the posts with Weston adding the conversion. The Walsall lead was very short as they were immediately penalised for being offside. Luke Gross added the three points and two minutes later converted a try by Harry Jones. This attack covered over seventy meters before the winger was given the final pass.
The scoring followed a similar pattern during the second half as the hosts scored three tries, all from long range. Centre Ellerton had the first touchdown after an hour. Jones got his second ten minutes later. Walsall failed to deal with the restart after this score and the hosts linked together well with scrum half Liam Bailey getting the final touchdown. Gross converted two of the tries. The visitors scored the last try of the match as Perkins and then JB Lucak made good runs before captain Roger Weston went over for the try which he converted.