Northern 48 Hartlepool Rovers 8
Hartlepool Rovers were brought crashing down to Earth after this 48-8 trouncing at the hands of Northern on Saturday.
The Whites weren’t even a pale shadow of the team that had hammered Horden and Peterlee 57-15 the previous week, things were that bad.
As feared in the run up to the trip to McCracken Park, there was, after all, an ‘After the Lord Mayor’s Show’ display and it’s hard to put a finger on why?
Granted Northern are a good team, especially in the back row and centres but, the deficit having only been 10-8 at half time, they weren’t that good.
Rovers took a 3-0 lead after eight minutes with a 42 metre penalty from Ryan Foreman but Northern hit back with a move that started on their own 22 metre line, Harrison Clark the scorer and Tom Burt then crossed from close range.
Liam Wood pulled five points back on 33 minutes with a determined run down the right wing for that interval score of 10-8.
The Tynesiders hit Rovers hard at the start of the second half and Liam Mullick scored, Ali Gray converted that try and then scored one of his own taking advantage of some poor defending and 10-8 had become 22-8 after 44 minutes.
The Friaragemen simply had to score next to get back into the game but conceded again on 50 minutes, prop Sam Wilson breaking the line to touchdown and it was 27-8.
It was becoming quite processional in so far as Northern were concerned and Clark ran, chipped and retook the ball to score after 56 minutes, Gray’s conversion making it 34-8.
Gray went in again on the hour mark, the try being awarded despite the referee’s attention being taken up by a brawl on the Rovers’ 22. After a delay he was able to kick the conversion from in front and the lead was now 41-8.
After a brief spell of Rovers’ pressure, Northern finished off the scoring when Nathan Whitworth burst through the defensive line, Gray again converting.
The White Shirts host Medicals at the New Friarage on Saturday, a game they dare not lose.
Northern: Matthews, C Whitworth, N Whitworth, Ellis, Tait, Clark (sin bin 62), Gray, Wilson, Mullick, Hirst, Kell, White (c)(sin bin 25), Annis, Taylor, Burt. Subs used: Smallwood, Ure, Nyamega
Rovers: Foreman, Rochester, Gunn, Burnside, Harrison, Evens, Barnfield, S Smith, N Stead, Pinchen, Langley, Little, O’Callaghan, Wood, Dring (c). Subs used: Flounders, Austwicke (sin bin 62), Charters
Referee: Ricky Handa (Northumberland Society)