Pool Bounce Back With Bonus Point Win
Hartlepool made a welcome return to winning ways when the defeated Ryton 27-12 at Mayfield Park on Saturday.
Pool elected to play against the elements and bank first half. After 4 minutes play, the visitors were the first to make an impression on the game with a penalty attempt from 30 metres that fortunately for Pool bounced off the underside of the bar.
10 minutes on the clock and Pool broke the deadlock, Lock Michael Smalley rose in the line out and his the forward then mauled the ball forward for 15 metres. Once the drive was stopped, Andrew Foreman then drove on and scored from 10 metres. Keagen Thomas was wide with the conversion. 5-0.
Pool were caught napping after 15 minutes , 30 metres out. In open play, the Ryton number 8 picked up the ball from a ruck and left two players in his wake with a fine run before scoring under the uprights for a fine individual try . 5-7.
In an entertaining and open first half, the Mayfield Park side then retook lead with a great team try , the clearance kick was caught by Zac Ivey , whom then carried the ball with purposes, Tom Johnson then prop Graham Wilson made inroads in the defence, before superb hands in the backs saw stand off Adam Ainley combine with Tom Johnson for the second try for the home side . Keagen Thomas conversion increased the lead to 5 points, 12-7.
With Pool playing front foot rugby, the third try was soon recorded, the forwards took the ball on with Adam Williamson, Shane Ivey and Andrew Small involved , when the ball was recycled, David Chester picked a great line of attack and sucked in a few defender. When he was eventually stopped, the ball was shipped along the back line before flanker Phil Stevenson sucked in a defender before cleverly flicking the ball to Keagen Thomas who scored under the posts. Thomas then converted his own try to make the score 19-7.
Following the kick off, Pool knocked on the ball and Ryton took advantage to attack the open side and after several phases of short drives, they scored a well worked try in the right hand corner. 19-12.
The second half saw Pool playing down the bank , however it was the visitors who started the brighter of the two side and in one such attack, John Osborne showed great strength to steal the ball and start an electric counter attack, which saw Jon Carney break free , however the last pass to winger Dean Ryan was just forward.
The away number 9 made a lightning break from the half way line and his clever kick over the top was expertly gathered and he looked odds on score but Zac Ivey tackled the scrum half on the line and managed to hold up the player on the line. Pool were then awarded the penalty back chat to the referee.
Two minutes later , Ryton were penalised for being offside at the break down and dissent to the referee saw the penalty moved 10 metres forward and Antony Lawrence penalty was kicked. 22-12.
As play entered the last 10 minutes , a lightning break by Lawrence caused problems in the away defence , Dave Chester then made incisive run before linking up with Phil Stevenson who quickly passed to winger Dean Ryan, who scored in the corner to record the 4th try . 27-12