Cougars 19 v Novocastrians 10

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Carlisle Cougars 19: Novocastrians 10
Sunday 28th Match, top of the table clash at Warwick road saw the Cougars overcome strong opposition to strengthen their grip on top of the table. Having beaten Novocastrians away earlier this year, the Cougars knew the Newcastle outfit would be looking for revenge.

From the kick off it was obvious that this was going to be a hard fought, physical encounter from which both teams were looking to take valuable points. The ball was gathered well by the Cougars, and with ball in hand the Cougars looked strong. The forwards set a platform for the backs to make good yards up the pitch. Both sides contested well at the breakdown, but it was the opposition who got the first break through. Following a quick tap penalty, and several forwards phases, Novo’s blind side flanker forced her way over in the corner for an unconverted try. This galvanised the Cougars who started strongly from the re-start, pushing Novos back in defence and forcing them to make errors.

The next 20 minutes saw an even game with every ball being fiercely contested. The score line remained the same until the final five minutes of the half, when a great break from centre Katie Wigham lead to loose head prop Lucy Meadley forcing her way over the line under the sticks. The try was converted by fly half Lisa Ritchie bringing the half time score to 7:5 to the Cougars.
The second half saw strong tackling continue from both flankers Belinda Lloyd (coaches player), and Ruth Watts (players player). This kept the Novo’s runners at bay, with Katie Wilson guarding the channels, stopping anything that came her way. The Cougars scrum held strong through the game, and patience paid off for the Cougars. Katie Wigham crossed the line for two tries in the last 20 minutes. Novos did not take their foot off the gas. Their centres and front five continued to run hard making the Cougars defend to the end. Eventually they forced errors from the Cougars, and Novos number eight scored the final try of the game resulting in a deserved 19:10 win for the Carlisle side.
The Cougars now have a break for Easter weekend before travelling to Fleetwood on 11th of April.

Anyone interesting in training and playing, or volunteering for the Cougars can get in touch by emailing carlislecougars@hotmail.co.uk or calling 07912110785.