A GAME TOO FAR
By Paddy Douglas
A good effort but no points.
Apologies for late report.
Many changes as usual with the usual varying reasons for not playing!
We started well and on the front foot and a good break saw Martyn Heelbeck
away and probably should have scored but hauled down just short. As usually happens with us Stockton got possession and put pressure on the Gateshead defence and scored penalty 0-3.
Stockton were dominating possession and just about every phase of play except the scrum where we put them under pressure and did so throughout the game. Stockton got a try then another to make it 0-20 and if we were not careful we were going to get stuffed!
A bit of a rally saw some good possession and pressure on the Stockton defence saw Martyn Heelbeck
make another break and a neat dummy to go in and score a cracking try. 5-20 at half time.
Gateshead came out where they left off, on top and attacking the Stockton defence. Some good possession saw the ball moved across the pitch where Scott Cartner
came into the line and a good off load to Conner Anderson
saw him in for another good try, converted by Scott to make it 12-20.
Possible comeback and Gateshead continued to have a go but Stockton were resolute in defence and upped their game and after 15 minutes scored again. 12-27. Gateshead had some chances but couldn’t finish and the strong running of the Stockton forwards, especially their big no 8 Scott Powell had Gateshead in trouble and they scored another three tries without answer to make the final score 12-44.
So a good effort but it was always going to hard. Stockton took advantage of the ref not keeping an eye on their backs defence and they got away with being way off side and put the Gateshead backs under immense pressure and caused several handling errors which is unusual for the Gateshead backs. Can’t blame Stockton as you do what you can get away with. Otherwise the ref who is new to Durham had a good game.
Nobody really stood out for Gateshead but I can’t fault the effort so like the old school report ‘tried hard but could do better!’
The biggest news of the day was David Tate
announcing his retirement. He has been a fabulous servant to Gateshead Rugby club and I am sure will continue to be so in some other capacity! A lot has already been said by others and myself and all of it is very true. Pity he didn’t get his usual try in his last game.
So a good bloke, player, club man, family man etc etc and none of it goes far enough to actually sum up his contribution to the team at Gateshead for the last 20 years. Just after the merger in the late 90’s I was captain of the 3rd team and this young lad, son of old rival David senior came into the side but not for long mind as he was far too good even then for the 3rd team and so started his 1st team playing career.
The best compliment I think is that as a writer of these match reports each week I tell you of the varying excuses for unavailability and they are many and some quite unbelievable. David Tate
has played every minute of every game for two seasons, including friendlies and tour games. Nothing more to say really!