Morpeth rugby team go down against a dominant Durham City team who run in eight tries

Morpeth Rugby Club lost their first game of 2024 away at Durham City.Morpeth Rugby Club lost their first game of 2024 away at Durham City.
Morpeth Rugby Club lost their first game of 2024 away at Durham City.
Morpeth finally returned to league rugby after the prolonged festive break and made the short trip south to take on an improving Durham City side.

On a pitch in excellent condition, the visitors were well and truly beaten by a home outfit who were on top for the whole 80 minutes, with the scoreline a true reflection of the gulf between the two sides.

Morpeth kicked off, but it was City who dictated affairs territorially.

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It was no surprise when the home side took the lead on 10 minutes. The score came from a midfield scrum, on or around the Morpeth 22.

City fly half James Coxon was able to beat his opposite number before sending right wing Scott Rochester over in the corner. An excellent conversion ensued.

Morpeth struggled throughout the match when it came to the lineout set piece, however, after 15 minutes, a good drill ensured they secured possession and drove well. Sam Hornby ran strongly before becoming isolated, but better was to come for the visitors.

On 20 minutes City mounted numerous attacking phases before Morpeth centre Jake Stephenson intercepted and ran a full 80 metres to score under the posts. The try was converted by full back Kieran Smith.

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This was as much as Morpeth managed. The game was reasonably tight, as the score suggested, with Morpeth defending stoutly, but in a short period before, and then after the half-time break, the game was over as a contest, as City dominated proceedings.

Man of the match, centre Craig Dominick, a constant threat throughout, broke through some poor defence to score a converted effort. Two further tries came before the interval with City on the front foot, taking the ball at pace with their clever and powerful ball handlers. Morpeth had no answer.

Morpeth went in at half-time trailing 26-7.

City began the second half as they finished the first and dominated possession. By the 48th minute they had increased their lead with another brace of scores to make it 38-7.

Morpeth tried hard, with second-half sub Micky Hall working tirelessly, along with skipper Jack Elliott, but it was all in vain as two further City scores before the final whistle made the score 48-7.

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