Excellent win marred by serious injury.

By Chris Harrison - March 11 2012
Excellent win marred by serious injury.
Just the 5! The Bucks entertained Consett II in a friendly fixture. The visitors had given the Stags a decent contest early in the season so a tough encounter was anticipated.The day was close to ideal for flowing rugby with only a strong breeze posing a threat to open rugby.West were delighted to welcome back several senior players returning from injury/absence who were able to create huge problems for the visitors.

The Bucks faced the wind in the first half and after 6mins, winger, Danny Quinn, chased a kick, won the ball on the ground and fed the looping fly half Paul Williamson (Tink) who sprinted over (5-0).

On 10 minutes Steven Stockdale, playing his first game for 3 months after injury, finished off an excellent passage of play. Several players took the ball on but did not let themselves get isolated and ensured the ball was kept alive. Eventually the big No 8 received the ball on the 22 and did what he does so well – he identified his opponent, took the contact, accepted it, rode it and went through it. Tink converted (12-0).

Stockdale did it again a few minutes later when he drove over from a 5 metre scrum (17-0).

He sealed his hat trick shortly after when Dash Thomas broke from a 5 metre scrum and fed back inside the big No8, who just doesn’t miss from that range (22-0).

On 36 minutes prop Craig Forrest was rewarded for some hard graft as he looped around a ruck from a long way away to receive off Thomas and crash over (27-0).

42 minutes in and Nige Bulmer (Dad again this week!) finished off a long range move as Stockdale and Thomas created space on the blindside of a scrum to release the winger (32-0).

There was still time for the kick off and once again sensible, controlled rugby paved the way for a try as 2nd Row Mickey Robson caught and secured the kick. Forrest took the ball on and as it was moved to the backs, centre, Pete Considine made a break and Tinker went over under the posts. He converted his try (39-0).


Stockdale continued his comeback as he beat off would be tacklers from 10 metres out to score under the posts. Dash Thomas managed to miss the conversion from directly in front (44-0).

Shortly after Thomas helped make amends when he received a loose Consett clearance kick and fed full back Graeme Ainslie. The young Marine showed his pace as he weaved his way to a 75m touchdown (49-0).

At this point I am afraid I lost touch with the game as the injury to the young Consett player, Jason Conner, became my priority.

Tries that I did note were scored by Andy Robson, Stocker (again!) and Craig Hadwen with Tink converting 2. Consett were also able to get the try their efforts deserved.

The Ref said the final score was 73-5 so if anyone wants to claim themselves a try then feel free!?!

I hope to contact Consett tomorrow to see how the young man is. He was taken to James Cook by air ambulance as he was having problems with his back, so good luck to him. Thanks to those who ensured he was as comfortable as we could get him particularly Andy Quinn and Steve Mcbeath who appreciated the seriousness of the situation, especially as the player was able to walk off the pitch before experiencing difficulties.

As for the game some very good rugby was played and the value of experienced players was very evident as they took control and showed the way ie Stockdale, Thomas & Tinker. Stockdales contact skills are a tremendous lesson to younger players. He knows contact is coming, he doesn’t worry about it, he just accepts it, he takes it on his terms and uses his attributes to do the right things when he is in it.

However its about time I mentioned one of the Bucks unsung players, he plays nearly every week, I dont often mention him but he always does a good job. He is the sort of player that doesnt stand out but which every team needs, Mr Continuity.......Hang on Im opening the envelope..........its Sam Powell! Seriously tho' Sam is the back row forager which teams need to succeed.

Young Nathan Wales continued his baptism into senior front row play alongside experienced campaigner (and Dad again this week!)Paul Dove (he has a fit when I call him veteran). Old man Mixie Parker smashed people to bits when given the chance in the centre and Craig Hadwen free from the tussle of the front row showed new found mobility in the 2nd row.

And as I mellow I think its about time I mentioned the ref, Philip Walton, who had a good game although he looked like he was 13 years old. Im sure that is just down to me being an old tw@t but he did ask for a lift home off one of our players!

League news is that Acklam have now drawn level on points after winning against Stockton and have gone ahead through points difference so April 7th should prove very interesting.

Team -15.Graeme Ainslie.14. Nige Bulmer.13. Mixie Parker (Ben.Cummins 60). 12.Pete Considine. 11.Danny Quinn.10. Paul Williamson. 9.Darren Thomas.

8.Steve Stockdale. 7.Sam Powell. 6.Andy Robson. 5.Craig Hadwen. 4.Mickey Robson. 3.Paul Dove. 2.Nathan Wales. 1.Craig Forrest.

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