Carlisle U14’s 28 v Percy Park 0

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Sunday 18th October 2009

The Carlisle Cobras (U14s,) travelled to the North East on 18th October to play at Percy Park,  where we received our usual warm welcome from our hosts on what was a very pleasant morning to play rugby.
The Cobras made hard work of the first half, never really looking as though they had woken up from their early morning alarm call. The North East side began very strongly, attacking the visitors in waves from the start. Their tenacity in attack, was evenly matched by the Cobra’s resolute defence.  Carlisles Tom Coulthard at full back, showed speed and determination in catching his own high kick early in the first half, but again, a tight Percy Park defence stopped him from gaining any ground.  Both teams were playing some good rugby without either side gaining the upper hand. Sluggishness and lack of support at times from the Cobras forwards allowed Percy Park to gain more possession as the half went on, but the Cobras defence held strong and did not allow Percy Park to advance the ball anywhere near  the try line.  The Cobras fly half Brett Connon had two attempts at drop goals from distance, but was unsuccessful on both occasions. This showed a determination from the Cobras to try and gain the advantage in a half that was going nowhere.

Percy Park continued to attack the Cobras try line, and in what was the closest they came to scoring, had a try disallowed for a double movement in the 24th minute of the game.  A very evenly matched first half  ended 0 – 0 , with both teams have tested each others resolve.

The Cobras began the second half strongly with the forwards starting to dominate much more than they did in the first half.  Some good rucking and then quick hands from scum half Sam Bell and inside centre Jason Israel, saw Gregg Graham finally break the deadlock in the 6th minute of the second period when he slid over the line near the corner flag.  Brett Connon converted a very difficult kick to give the Cumbrians a 7 – 0 lead.  Percy Park’s defence was beginning to get questions asked of them as the Cobras seemed to step up a gear with repeated surging runs by the forwards. Even though they continued to defend with a determination we have not seen the like of this season, Percy Park were unable to stop a well taken try by Tom Coulthard four minutes later right under the posts which again was converted by Brett Connon.

The Cobras were now gaining in confidence, and this showed in the way they were moving the ball between the forwards and backs keeping it away from the defending team.  Tom Fuller scored Cobra’s third try 15 minutes into the second half, with a typical mazy run. Connon again slotting the kick for the extra two points.

Percy Park attempted to attack the Cobras line repetedly, but were constantly kept at bay by a stoic display from the Cobras defence.

The final try of the game came 5 minutes from time after a powerful drive forward by James Robson, this saw him cross the line for his 5th try of the season. Brett Connon once again slotted the 2 points.

The final score of  0 – 28 owed much to the way the Cobras improved on their first half performance, with teammates at last talking to each other and working together as a team. This was a well fought out victory over a confident and very disciplined Percy Park side, who in fairness did not deserve to go away from this game without registering a score. Given that the last encounter was a much more one sided affair in the Cumbrians favour, the Percy Park coaching staff and team are to be commended for the amount of hard work they must have put in to make this the game it was.

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