Hartlepool Rovers 22 Tech 10
Try for Kirto

Hartlepool Rovers 22 Tech 10

By R&O - May 18 2006
Hartlepool Rovers emerged as 22-10 victors over neighbours Tech at the Friarage and, in doing so, gave twenty players a run out, including regular 1st XV members, squad men and young players for the future.

Tech, as always, were strong up front and had their moments but, also missing several players, didn’t have enough firepower to seriously threaten the Friaragemen.


For Rovers, Jordan Baggs was handed a 1st XV debut, Andrew Graham, Dean Cook, Steve Saunders and Stuart Grazier got valuable experience whilst there were opportunities for the Arnell brothers, Chris Sainty and Kevin Stephenson to remind coach Brian Robinson of their abilities. With Mark Power on the bench, Jon Nichols had the honour of leading the White Shirts and he did a good job.


Tech muscled in on Rovers from the outset and put the home eight under pressure and, before they had the time to find their feet and adapt to one another, they found themselves leaking a pick up from the base try to Kevin Cook.


Sainty pulled three points back with a 24 metre penalty on 11 minutes after which Rovers put together some good moves with Carl Robinson, Chris Nicholson, Sainty and Stephenson to the fore. One attack seemed to have Tech stretched with an overlap but Sainty could not take the vital pass and Tech cleared.


The young full back then pulled off a tremendous covering tackle on Nigel Bulmer when the wing man was set to touch down in the corner and he then popped up as the extra man on the Tech 22 but he lost his footing when a possible score beckoned.


Coach Robinson made five changes at half time, including Dan Cavanagh, a Kiwi who normally plays for Consett, and he was to make a good impression in the White Shirt.


Adam Ryan was well wide with a long range penalty after 41 minutes but Tech used a turnover eight minutes later to extend their lead when Adam Howard ran in for an unconverted try and a 10-3 scoreline.


Rovers then hit back and two well worked tries in five minutes for Cavanagh and Paul Kirton, both excellently converted by Sainty, sent them into a 17-10 lead. The Friaragemen then launched attack after attack with Power, Steve Wallis and Jason White being involved in several good plays. From one close range scrum, White and Power drove for the line where Jared Stevens forced his way over for Rovers’ third try.


With so many changes to the starting XV and at half time, it was never going to be a great spectacle of a game but Rovers did enough to win and the squad will now start to build towards the visit of Beverley to the Friarage next Saturday.


Rovers: Sainty, B. Cushlow (Cavanagh), C. Robinson, Nicholson, Stephenson, P. Arnell, A. Arnell, Wise, Nichols (c), Graham (Stevens), Cook, S. Saunders (Power), Baggs (Wallis), Kirton, Grazier (White).


Tech: Knight, Bulmer, J. Dickinson, Ryan, Foster, M. Parker, Cheshire, Lloyd, Dixon, Thompson, Wray, Howard, C. Dickinson, Best, Cook (c).


Referee: Dave Bottoms (Durham Society)