RGS Newcastle went into the weekend without a win so far this season, whilst their opponents, Barnard Castle, had beaten last yearâ€™s Schools Vase finalists, Yarm, 48-22 the previous week. Could RGS get a positive result? Head Coach Andy Watt reports:
Looking for their first home win, RGS Newcastle went into this fixture full of positive energy especially with the knowledge that of two of their eight early season injured players were returning to 1st XV action on a sunny North East Saturday afternoon.Â
RGS opening the scoring after only three minutes as converted centre Joe Young, burst through the opposition defensive line, sprinted half the length of the pitch and evaded 4 covering defenders to touch down under the posts for a 5-0 lead, Ed Bilclough quickly converted this.
For the next 20 minutes RGS defended magnificently as they spent most of the time in their own 22 under pressure from a constant stream of Barnard Castle pressure but ill disciple by the away team allowed RGS to clear their line time and time again.Â
The last 10 minutes of the half saw RGS regain the territorial advantage however they struggled to convert their possession into points. Young once again came close to scoring with another powerful break though the Barney 12 channel only to loose the ball forward as he tried to offload it out of a last ditch cover tackle by the outstanding Barnard Castle fullback on the 5m line. Towards the end of the half both teams exchanged penaltyâ€™s to leave the half time score 10-3.Â
After half time RGS came out the blocks rapidly, with a strong platform from the driving maul enabling them to unleash the backs, allowing top try scorer Young to add to his tally with another, dotting down in the corner.
Barnard Castleâ€™s strong scrum threatened to bring them back into the game, but a loose backs move from the away side allowed centre Fred Thomas to intercept and burn away under the posts, Bliclough converted to make the score 22-3.
Again Barnard came back, but finally broke the RGS defence and scored a try off some great passing play. With this converted and Barnard adding another score with 2 minutes to go, it was a nervy finish to the game, but RGS held on for a great 22-15 win, and with 6 injuries to come back the future looks good for those in red, white and black.
Final Score: RGS Newcastle 22-15 Barnard Castle
T- Joe Young RGS 12
C- Eddy Bilclough RGS 10
P- Eddy Bilclough RGS 10
P- Barnard Castle 10
T-Joe Young RGS 12
T- Freddie Thomas RGS 13
C-Eddy Bilclough RGS 10
T- Barnard Castle 11
T-Barnard Castle TBC
C- Barnard Castle 10