In DMPRFC’s second pre-season game, Championship side Yorkshire Carnegie RFC made their first visit to The Northern Echo Arena, with their Director of Director Chris Sterling and Head Coach Steve Bowden and their 29-man squad making the short trip North.
Yorkshire Carnegie had beaten Otley RFC, 7 - 27 (A) in the first of their warm –up games. But with the first league game of the season 2018/19 in the Championship taking place next week, the team that took the field against hosts DMPRFC was probably nearer their starting line-up.
With a mix of youth and experience throughout the visiting team, Yorkshire Carnegie RFC were always going to be a tough test of DMPRFC’s progress, not only to their journey in National One, but also to assess the standard to which DMPRFC must attain in order to aspire into the league above.
It was the visitors who struck first after eight minutes of play, when after some vociferous defence outside of the home 20-metre line was eventually breached when a midlfield miss-pass found lock Matt Smith, who cut an excellent line and found himself in the clear. When faced with the last defender, shipped a perfect pass to his skipper and flanker Richard Mayhew, who rode a desperate tackle, stretching to the line for the score (0 – 5), fly-half Brendan Cope adding the extras. (0 – 7)
DMPRFC responded quickly, when pressure was similarly applied, this time inside the visitors 22-metre, which was rewarded when the ball was whisked outside to lock Talite VAIOLETI, who despite being tackled, managed to stay upright and pass to skipper Garry LAW who glided over. (5 – 7)
Just after time for the first quarter had elapsed, the visitors fashioned a five metre lineout and from the following catch and drive, Carnegie hooker borrowed over for the score (5 – 12), Cope converting (5 – 14)
The try of the game was added by Carnegie’s outside centre Andy Forsyth who finished off after superb interplay, who linked with Jack Higginson and Chris Elder for a 60-metre effort. (5 – 19), Cope again converting. (5 – 21)
Just before oranges, DMPRFC tried to respond, but whilst looking promising on a concerted attack, throwing the ball wide, the ball was intercepted by a loitering Andy Forsyth who sprinted fully 75-metres for the score, just evading the covering defence, to take a stranglehold on the game. (5 – 28)
At the interval, Carnegie were certainly worthy of their advantage, but it was going to be a test of the home squad’s determination not to be overawed by their Championship opponents.
Thankfully, that did not materialise and although the visitors scored two further tries, the home side battled throughout, with some encouraging performances from some stalwart players and from new home debutant, which augurs well the season.
The first of Carnegie’s came from No. 8 Dan Temm, who took advantage of some poor attempts at tackling, to dive into the corner for the touchdown (5 – 31) on what was a fine day’s work for the former Newcastle Falcon’s Academy player.
The second and final second half try came from workmanlike Carnegie scrum half J B Bruzulier, who nipped down the short side after some good work from his forwards. (5 – 36)
DMPRFC had the final word with a deserved try after pressurising the visitors defence from close range and when the ball was shipped wide, full back and home debutant Chris GEORGIOU found the gap to score wide out. (10 – 36)
During the game, the benches were called upon, which did alter the flow of the game, however, the idea for both teams was to have a look at everyone in their respective squads.
All at DMPRFC are much appreciative of Yorkshire Carnegie RFC making the journey and taking the game and wish them every success in the coming season.
Next week, Scottish Premiership side Watsonians RFC visit the Northern Echo Arena, for the last pre-season friendly prior to the start of the National One league season, with a trip to Bishop Stortford RFC as the opener.
Darlington Mowden Park:
15 Chris Georgiou 14 Ollie Walker 13 Ben Frankland 12 Garry Law 11 Shaun McCartney 10 Warren Seals 9 Josh Hall 1 Ralph Appleby 2 Jordon Poole 3 Ignas Darkintis 4 Talite Vaioleti 5 Joe Craggs 6 George Stokes 7 Joe Duffy 8 Dave Fisher
16 Alfie Barron 17 Tristan Grant 18 Ben Pawlett 19 Chris Dodds 20 Ollie Hodgson 21 Jordy Hop 22 Charlie Wilson 23 Josh Murray.
15. Chris Elder 14. George Watkins 13. Andy Forsyth 12. Pete Lucock 11. Jack Higginson 10. Brendan Cope 9. JB Bruzulier 1. Rowan Jenkins 2. Joe Buckle 3. Ewan McQuillin 4. Richard Beck 5. Matt Smith 6. Josh Bainbridge 7. Richard Mayhew (c) 8. Dan Temm
16. Adam Brown 17. James Thraves 18. Jake Ilnicki 19. Elliot Ward 20. Trystan Lloyd 21. Lewis Wilson 22. Oli Fox 23. Dan Moor 24. Sam Allan 25. Jerry Turagabeci 26. Sam Wolstenholme 27. Harry Davey 28. Tom Bullough 29. Andrew Foster
Updated 13:34 - 27 Aug 2018 by Tom Bulmer