St Ives 53 v 17 Tavistock
Last Saturday at Alexandra Road it was a return to league action for St Ives following last weekend’s fixture free Saturday. Coach Paul Thirlby named a changed side following a growing injury list. Tony Stevens was named at prop with brother Louis in the second row, Sam Heath returned to the side after recovering from injury, Tom Murray came on to the wing with Tom Nicholas moving to full back and Jacob Ninnes was named on the bench.
The game began with the Hakes being penalised for offside right in front of their posts in the first minute and Tavistock fly half Gareth Lovell kicked the 3 points to give the visitors from Devon an early lead.
Despite going behind it was the St Ives players who took the initiative and demonstrated their intent at the scrum with a dominant display from the pack, after 6 minutes. This gave the platform for St Ives number 8 Martyn Lawrance to open the scoring for the Hakes with an un-converted try to put St Ives ahead by 5 points to 3.
With the St Ives pack dominating up front Tavistock looked to move the ball wide at every opportunity. When they did they looked to have a threat, but the Hakes were in no mood to take their foot off the gas. The next score came from captain, Ben Taylor, when he forced his way over from the base of a ruck from within the Tavistock 5 metre line. Again the conversion was missed, but the Hakes now had a lead of 10 points to 3.
St Ives went on to dominate the rest of the first half scoring a further 5 tries and securing the all important bonus point with tries from Martyn Lawrance with his second of the afternoon, Lawrie Manna, Sam Heath, Paul Thirlby and Sam Carter. Three of the tries were converted by Grant Thirlby to make the score at the break St Ives 41, Tavistock 3.
The second half was a very different game of rugby; following a couple of injuries to the Tavistock front row the scrum went uncontested. This took away the Hakes big advantage over the visitors and unsettled the St Ives game plan to such an extent that it let the visitors back into the game. Without a competitive scrum Tavistock were able to play to their strength and move the ball wide to their dangerous looking backs at every opportunity, on 55 minutes they scored their first try of the match through Luke Northmoor. Lovell converted to make the score St Ives 41, Tavistock 10.
The next period of the match saw the visitors get right under the skin of the St Ives players and disrupt the Hakes further; at one point midway through the second half St Ives had 3 players in the sin bin as their discipline disintegrated, which inevitably allowed the visitors more space in which to use their effective backs. On 73 minutes Tavistock’s Luke Northmoor went over for his second try of the game with Lovell once again converting to make the score 41 – 17.
The last five minutes of the match saw the Hakes regain some composure and once again put some pressure on the visitors. In the 75th minute second row Jamie Prisk crashed over, after stealing the ball at the front of a 5 metre lineout, for an unconverted try. In the last play of the game player coach Paul Thirlby scored his second try of the match. This one was converted by his brother Grant with the final kick of the game to see the Hakes win by 53 points to 17.