Newcastle (Staffs) 50 - Tamworth 0 (author) Liam Bailey
By David Ellerton
Fantastic performance from Newcastle Players this weekend to produce a 50 - 0 victory against Tamworth.
Newcastle hosting Tamworth... the tone of the game was set early, with a heavy downpour during the warmup , this did not dampen the fans spirit and the Scottish supporters.. with beers in hand they gave the home team the pick me up they much needed! A good warm up and a solid game plan in place but a quick shuffle round in midfield to accommodate the absence of winger Tom Toplass saw Ryan Martin slot into the 13 shirt!
Kick off was upon us, a quick "quiet castle on 3" and the lads took to the field with Tamworth kicking off... Toplass finally arrives with baby teddy in tow, the crowd take on baby sitter duties whilst Toplass warms up and soon takes to the field! An early burst of pressure from Tamworth tests Newcastle but the defence led by Ross Westwood was impregnable from the start... it wasn't long before Newcastle's game plan came into place utilising the forwards for 4 phases before Ashley Martin spotted the space out wide, with some unbelievable hands and an even better step by Toplass saw him over for the first try...
Tamworth did apply a little more pressure in the Newcastle half stinging together a series of phases only to see Toplass intercept from inside his own 22! But did he have the legs to take him all the way.... not quite, caught like a rabbit in the headlights 5 meters off the Tamworth try line, the ball was rolled back to a closely supporting Dom Ellerton who guided it over for his first try!
Newcastles forwards continued to dominate with the two Fijians linking up well at every given opportunity!
Alex Fitzmaurice-James then showed why he got the nod to start, after a long kick downfield he was off like a whippet, beating his opposing number and gathering the ball, only the full back to beat, and in the words of the lad him self "back yourself" and didn't he just, a sidestep Jason Robinson would have been envious of... another try under the sticks...
Newcastle were cruising, forwards were dominating and the backs reaping the benefits! It wasn't long before Fitzmaurice and Dan Jones linked up after a desperate attempt for Tamworth to clear their lines with a poor kick, Jones stormed down the touchline avoiding several tackles to score his first! With half time looming fly half Ashley Martin seized he opportunity to try a set move which brought Ellerton flying through a gap in centre field, with support flooding through either side he passed to Bailey who ran it in from 20 meters... a move straight from the training ground.
Coach Dean Rodwell was more than happy and was seen up on his toes a number of times, almost as if he was getting in on the moves (now we know where the name trotters comes from)
The Scottish continued to 'bang the drum' in support and alls that was requested from coaches and captain was more of the same...
Newcastle kicked off for the second half, and Tamworth must have had a round of fff's at half time, they upped the tempo and tried to get their own game plan rolling which inevitable led to Fitzmaurice receiving a yellow.. Newcastle were up against it. Body's were put on the line from both forwards and backs to prevent Tamworth from scoring! No way through, it would have been easier breaking into MI5 head quarters..
15 minutes gone and Newcastle counter after receiving a kick down field, the ruck was set... or at least that's what Tamworth thought, Anthony Smash Cornwell the big prop with a spot of quick thinking scooped the ball up and was straight through the middle like a torpedo up the field! A one on one with the full back, he was surely going to plough straight through the star struck 15 but no.... a huge dummy to the oncoming support left him with a 30 meter sprint to the try line, not a chance anyone was catching the big fella in front of the home crowd! Try of the game!!!
The second half continued with Newcastle in control, Fitzmaurice was back on the pitch and it wasn't long before he got his second with a nice 8,9, 14 move up the short side!
Newcastle received a second yellow with 15 to go, Tawake VK Tomasi (aka T) had to take 10 minutes to repent his sins!
This didn't phase the Newcastle squad, changes were made which saw the debut of James Haywood take the field after Ryan Martin was shot by a sniper! JoNi Tamanibola also replaced a tired Cornwall at prop!
Some strong running from all of the forwards made the last 10 minutes an exciting spectacle and also saw ellerton battle his way over for his second try of the match!
Full time score 50 - 0
Tamworth Match report
Tamworth travelled to Newcastle at the weekend and were convincingly beaten by 8 try's to 0.
Newcastle took the lead on 15 minutes with a nice piece of individual skill and they never looked back and went into half time with the bonus point already in the bag.
The second period was marginally better for the visitors as the battled honestly to try and salvage some pride but to no avail against a Newcastle side playing with great confidence and obviously more at home in the torrential conditions that the game was played in.
The Tamworth players left the field looking just as stunned as the supporters on the side line with everyone knowing that they are much better than this result.
This being said nothing should be taken away from Newcastle who were excellent and fully deserved their victory.