Hartlepool Rovers 62 Sandal 20
Hat trick man

Hartlepool Rovers 62 Sandal 20

By R&O - May 18 2006
Hartlepool Rovers racked up sixty plus points for the second successive home league match with this big win against Sandal.

Despite going 5-13 down, Rovers didn’t look like losing this one and Sandal could have scored a couple more tries had they used men free outside instead of trying to go it alone. A closing try spree from Rovers with three scores in the last five minutes gave a bigger winning scoreline than Sandal may have deserved, however, the Yorkshiremen are in deep trouble after their latest loss.


After two well below par performances, coach Brian Robinson fielded a team with several positional changes and all seemed well when, from their first attack after 10 minutes, Rovers took the lead. Andrew Foreman broke from the base of a 5 metre scrum and weaved his way to the line by the right corner flag.


Sandal had put Rovers under early pressure and they scored straight from the restart with Damien Edge taking advantage of a charged down kick to run in unopposed, Ben Brindley slotting a great touchline conversion. He then put penalties over on 18 and 24 minutes to extend the lead to 13-5.


The home eight then started to impose themselves with some good driving play and their regular ‘9th forward’ Simon Rutherford scored two of his trademark carried over tries, Gareth Foreman converting the latter with a good kick.


On 38 minutes, the ball was passed along the backs to good effect and Gareth Foreman cleverly kicked to the corner where Andrew Lilley dived onto the ball, the unconverted score giving the White Shirts a 22-13 half time lead.


After 47 minutes, Gareth Foreman pushed a 42 metre penalty wide but 3 minutes later he added the extra points to a Jason White dive under the posts and on 56 minutes he converted a breakaway try by Michael Walton, the centre picking up a loose ball to outpace the cover to the line, the lead now being 36-13.


The wet ball was causing several handling errors and from a spill on the home 22, Gareth Foreman hacked the ball all the way to the try line for a real opportunist score, adding the conversion for good measure.


The Friaragemen shipped an easy try after 73 minutes when Sandal rightly used a free man for Richard Thompson to cross, Brindley’s boot was again on target and the score now 43-20. Rovers responded immediately with Andrew Foreman spying acres of free space to go in at the left hand Clubhouse corner.


The hosts ran riot in the last two minutes, Lilley completing his hat trick by first finishing off a crossfield move and then running in strongly from the 22, Gareth converting both tries.


Whilst certainly not hitting anything approaching top form, Rovers were too good for their visitors and they now need to take this effort and play into next week’s game at Stockton.


Rovers: Nicholson, B. Cushlow, Walton, Rutherford, Lilley, G. Foreman, A. Foreman, J. Cushlow (Todd), Nichols, Wise, Power, S. Hall, Wallis (D. Smith), Kirton, White. Sub not used: C. Robinson.


Sandal: Karadzic (T. Smith), Frewin, Thompson, Brindley, Edge, Price, Wheeler, Dix, Wybrow (Waterhouse), Norbury (Tee), Norris, Kaimau (sin bin), J. Smith, Whittingham, Wade.


Referee: Adrian Holmes (Midlands Society)