Mix of youth and experience

  • Published on Monday, 13 November 2017 11:31
  • Written by Tom G

Park Lions 76 – Gosforth Phoenix 7

Pre Match Craic

  • Thomas T helping with 1XV
  • Strong squad with a good mix of experience and youth
  • Big welcome to Tom having his first run out for Park at 7
  • Colts:  James, Dylan, Josh H, Josh W, Josh U, Andrew adding considerable pace, skill and commitment to the squad.
  • Skipper Jake Smith taking over water boy duties after his unfortunate air bag testing incident.
  • Mark Sanderson taking over leadership roles.
  • And finally Ross Young once more showing that he can complain from just about any position on the pitch - the versatile youngster starting at 9, deputising at hooker and finishing in the back row.

Park Lions 76 – Gosforth Phoenix 7

Park started with a bang, the restart was well taken deep in the 22, a series of quick “pick and go’s” compressed the Gosforth defence then a sweeping move across the back line resulted in a superb try in the corner.  The game finished on a similar note when Park set of from their own line, created space and sent Kepa off on a 60m sprint to the line.

In between these scores Park did not have everything their own way. Having established a 15 – 0 lead within 15 minutes on the clock (3 tries), Gosforth struck back when their forwards bludgeoned their way over for 7 points. For most of the remaining half Park had ascendency in the lineout, where Aaron continued to dominate and parity in the scrum, but were coming second best in the close contact. However, with young Andrew Walker creating space at 10 for Rikki and Leo to exploit and with real gas on the wings Park always looked dangerous. As half time approached the Park pack decided to show their determination and following a series of close drive breached the Gosforth line (20 – 7). From the kick off Walker split the Gosforth defence for a try well converted by Anderson for a 27-7 Half Time lead.

Sensible words at half time meant a simple 10 minute strategy was deployed in the 2nf half.

Excellent use of the wind by Rikki and Steven saw Park pin Gosforth deep in their 22. As predicted tries followed as Gosforth, unable to kick their way out of trouble, ran out of options and conceded possession.

With 30 mins to go and a healthy cushion Park decided to up the tempo and really cut loose: Leo, Josh, Kyle and Kieran causing chaos from all over the Park. With the luxury of 4 forward replacements Park were able to maintain the tempo and scored at regular intervals.

To be fair to Gosforth they were not helped by a couple of injuries to key players and on another day the game would have been much closer.