Morpeth overpower young opponents

Another good win for Morpeth rugby.Another good win for Morpeth rugby.
Another good win for Morpeth rugby.
Morpeth travelled south to take on basement club South Shields Westoe, in a game they won 62-0 and with a certain amount of ease against young opponents, who despite their difficult circumstances, always played with both spirit and endeavour.

It was the visitors who played up the considerable slope and immediately were on the attack. Strong runs from centre Gavaghan and fly half Burgess threatened the Westoe line, only for ill discipline resulting in a home penalty, but then Morpeth were marched a further 10 metres back. Sadly it has been a feature this season.

Nevertheless, on 10 minutes Morpeth deservedly took the lead. Good handling saw winger Gascoigne go over in the corner.

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Further Morpeth back chat resulted in a home penalty chance which was only just short, before Morpeth pressure began to tell. On 18 minutes a concerted attack saw some hard running drives but provided slow ruck ball before Burgess took the initiative and broke through a beleaguered defence. The same player added the extras.

Morpeth continued to dominate play, cleverly using the short side. Thompson ran effectively and was a continuous threat, while skipper Hill was prominent, handling and running strongly. Then on 30 minutes Clark went over after Grieves made a good initial break. Burgess made an excellent conversion.

The final score in the first half came in the 34th minute and saw scrum half Elliott lead a counter attack which the forwards took on before Burgess showed sublime skill in offloading to Turner who scored near the posts.

Half-time score 0-26.

A push over try on 50 minutes saw Morpeth increase their advantage when the impressive Clark touched down.

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Morpeth continued to dominate as replacements, in the form of Wood, Hornby and Dynan entered the fray. It was winger Wood who was the creator of the next score when a strong run set up prop Yilmaz, who showed great strength in muscling over on 54 minutes.

A couple of aspects of Morpeth’s play which were disappointing were the frequent turn overs that Westoe were able to make when the ball carrier became isolated. That, and a habit running of running across the field by outside backs detracted from the overall performance.

To their immense credit, Westoe kept handling well in an effort to create opportunities but the inevitable Morpeth scores kept coming.

On 65 minutes it looked as though an overlap had been squandered before Clark managed to recover and touch down wide out. Burgess slotted an excellent conversion.

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Then Gavaghan got the next, with players outside, he sold a clever dummy to touch down on 67 minutes, as Westoe tired.

The final scores came by way of an individual Dynan effort, plucking an opposition line out before racing clear on 73 minutes. Burgess converted expertly.

The icing on the cake came with a Smith try on 76 minutes, after quick ruck ball created an opportunity for a Burgess break before handing on to Smith, who finished the move.

Scoops man of the match. A difficult choice. Thompson was a threat throughout, Burgess showed moments of some pure class and Clark improves with every game at number 8 but the nomination goes to replacement on the day, Ben Hornby, who recorded his 250th first team appearance.

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He may have some way to go to join the amazing feats of Wilson, Hewitt and Pringle but in the modern season of reduced games, 250 first team appearances is more than a significant milestone for a player of no little talent and dedicated loyalty to Morpeth Rugby Club.

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