BONUS POINT WIN.
After 20 minutes of the game I never thought I would be saying ‘Bonus Point Win!’
Team as published on Thursday night. Bishop Auckland are third in the league so we were expecting a hard game.
It was a sunny day with a stiff breeze blowing diagonally across the pitch towards the cricket ground. We kicked off deep into their 22. One of their guys collected it and set off on a run. He didn’t really break any tackles as we stood and watched him for most part and he made it well into our half. This is where they stayed for most of the next 20 minutes or so.
They kicked a penalty 0-3. They kept up the pressure and a very deft piece of handling skill with a pass from around the back saw them score near the posts and convert. 0-10.
We did have the odd foray into their half where we looked promising and gave some hope but we either got caught in possession, knocked on or passed to them! When we did get the ball out the Bishop backs were either very, very quick or very offside!
Bishop scored again to make it 0-17. I think most of us thought it was going to be a long hard day!
Anyway towards the end of the half we got up into their 5 metre area and had a lineout. Gathered in and driven over for Johnny Thandi to get the touch down. Converted from the touch line by Ross Craig 7-17.
A vital score to make it 7-17 at half time. The lads did well to keep the score down as the territory Bishop had should have meant more points for them.
Second half we came out with more purpose and started off with Ross kicking a penalty 10-17. Then on Bishop’s first attack their centre ran straight through for a try, converted 10-24.
We were looking more like a team and started to put some good phases together with penetrating runs with Nathan Turner and Conner Anderson looking dangerous. When we put the phases together and recycle the ball we look like a team but when we try and force a pass or position then we fail. But pressure told and Stephen Anderson went in at the corner for a good try. Ross again knocked the conversion over from the touchline 17-24.
We kept up the pressure and again with the ball being moved from side to side Nathan Turner stepped inside to score a cracking try, converted by Ross. 24-24.
Was it possible we all asked ourselves??
35 minutes Bishop got a penalty 24-27. Was that the end??
Two minutes to go we get a penalty in a very kickable position. Would we go for the draw? Nope was the answer as it was kicked to the corner.
Ball won and recycled and mauled and spun round and Cameron Nyembega twisted for the line. He went down and managed to twist himself for the touch down. Converted by Ross 31-27. The first time we had been in front and the final whistle went! To say the lads were well chuffed and excited is an understatement. Also all of us old farts on the touchline were beaming and laughing too. I was talking to some of the lads later and they said that when Cam touched down a few of them had tears in their eyes they were so happy. It’s great to see that it means so much to them and long may it continue. I know one ginger photographer who would have had some great snaps of all the action and particularly at the end.
Nathan Turner got MOM and well deserved. Despite early errors and players doing things out of character the lads never gave up and believed they could do it and so they did, so well done. All 18 players did their bit and as Eddie Jones would say the ‘finishers’ come on to do a job and Cameron Nyembega certainly did. Despite trying to bribe the writer to say he ran in from 50 metres he’ll probably not score a more important try this season no matter how far he trundled!
Darlington away next week. I am going ‘darn sarf’ so won’t be there so Jock if you are available to be a ‘finisher’ next week please? Good luck lads and get stuck in.