Under 15’s v Wigton

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As we reach the latter part of this weather hit season, Carlisle Cobras travelled to Lowmoor Road on 13th February in search a crucial victory in preparation for re-gaining the Cumbria cup.

Wigton were never going to be an easy outfit to play in the first round and to their credit never gave up from the first whistle to the last.

The greens started the brighter and gained momentum through a couple of penalties however a great turnover inside their own half allowed the cobras to spread the ball through the backs. Some good support play down the short side eventually led to a try scored on the far side through Matt Bradley. Connon was unsuccessful with the conversion.

Two minutes later the Cobras pressed hard again and Bradley should have had a second if it wasn’t for a poor execution of pass from Lewis Fuller. A three man miss pass being the wrong option on this occasion. However a good turnover from the scrum led to blindside flanker Brendan Ferguson to bulldoze his was over from ten yards. 10-0.

Again the Cobras pressured the greens into mistakes and a knock on led to a blue scrum on the Wigton 22. From here the Cobras bit again and Ferguson was once again on hand to drive over for his second due to some sleek and cheeky hands from Lewis Fuller. Connon converted to make it 17-0.

From the kick off Austin Friars number 8 and county man James Robson caught the ball clean and travelled 60 metres up field shrugging off six opponents before eventually offloading to Bradley. From here the Cobras knocked on, yet won the ball back from the scrum. Connon found Wilkinson who stepped past two green shirts to score to the left of the sticks. Connon added the extras.

By this time the Carlisle boys were well on top and were playing some of the best rugby they had played all season. Exerted pressure led to a further try, this time for the captain Tom Fuller. Connon was again successful with his third of the match. On the break Ferguson completed his hat trick with a good pick up from the base and drove over from the short side. No conversion. 36-0 at the break.

At half time Carlisle made changes, which may have suggested to some people the tempo may have dropped. This certainly was not the case and they raised their game once again. Tom Coulthard made devastating yards from the back which led to superb support play around the close contact, James Robson eventually getting on the score sheet. Coulthard took over the kicking duties and made it 43-0.

Wigton pressed hard and at times made life difficult for the Cobras, however up front the Cobras worked hard and were constantly looking for turnover ball from ,loose support play from the greens. On 43 minutes Guy Wilkinson stole a ball and found Brendan Ferguson who beat two players before number 10 Jason Israel finished off the play by scoring under the posts.

With no Connon or Coulthard on the pitch, the kicking duties fell to Tom Percival. Percival added the extras but at the same time injured his foot from kickig the tee too hard! Plonker!

As the game came to a close Carlisle continued to exhale pressure onto their opponents and eventually prop forward David Brown scored in the corner. This was to be the final play and the score finished 55-0.

The Carlisle team will now face either Kendal or rivals Kirkby Lonsdale in the semi finals. Post game head coach James Cartmen Goode had this to say; “I was pleased with the way we grafted from the start to finish. At half time it would have been easy for us to just switch off and rest on our laurels from the first half, but some critical analysis and motivation from backs coach Ben Blain geared the lads up for the second half. We gave them a game plan and they stuck to it which the most pleasing thing.”

It was great to see so many travelling supporters at Lowmoor road. The soup of the day this week was Mushroom and sage. When I asked supporters Alex Wilkinson and Andy Robson what their thoughts on the game were, they replied with; “ To be honest we didn’t see much of the game, we were too busy having five or six portions of Mr Israel’s soup weren’t we Andy?.” Robson added; “ Yeh that’s right, the tiger bread was superb, but from what we did see the coaching staff obviously got it spot on today!”

With three weeks until the county cup semi final, it looks as though after a shaky start to the season and off set winter, the Cobras are finding form at just the right time!

Result:            55 v 0
Half time score:        36 v 0

Report sent in by:        Ben Blain