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Carlisle Cobras travelled to West Hartlepool on 26th September with high expectations of picking up another win on their travels to the North East on Sunday.
However the team selection and availability was disrupted slightly due to school fixtures on the Saturday prior causing a few injuries. Nevertheless this did not deter the players’ enthusiasm.
It was clear from the outset that West would play an attacking game. Playing with the breeze they decided to keep the ball in hand. However it was Carlisle who made the first breakthrough, some sloppy handling gave the city side a good turnover and Lewis Fuller found brother Tom who crashed over for the first score on seven minutes. Israel could not convert.
But Carlisle then eased off and allowed West to get into the game. On fifteen minutes they drew level. An easy overlap allowed a simple run in for their first score. By now West were really making life hard for Carlisle in the scrum and around the ruck. Things went from bad to worse for the Cobras and five minutes later they found themselves trailing 10-5. West added the conversion and the home side led 12-5 at the break.
Some hard words from the coaching staff seemed to set the right mind set for the second half and the Cobras came out fighting with the wind behind their backs. Some good precise kicking from number 10 Jason Israel helped Carlisle play in the right area of the field exerting masses of pressure on their opponents. However West kept battling hard and put Carlisle under heavy pressure but could not break the solid defence down. With fifteen minutes to go, scrum half Brett Connon found a gap to reach for the line and bring the scores to within two points.
Carlisle were now really going for the win. With five minutes to play, full back Tom Coulthard punished a poor West Hartlepool kick and finally found a way through the defence to score under the posts. Connon converted making it 17-12. Finally with the last play of the game, Tom Fuller managed to snaffle a loose ball within the West 22 and cruised over the line for his team’s fourth try and his second.
The game finished 22-12 to the Cobras to cap another excellent performance on the road. Head coach Jimmy Goode said afterwards “I’m so pleased the lads dug deep and found it within them to battle through and take the win. At half time we hadn’t played any good rugby, but myself and the coaching staff knew what they had in them. Some excellent individual performances”.
Result: 12 v 22
Half time score: 12 v 5