Whitehaven massacre Doncaster on Valentine's Day
Last updated at 11:50, Monday, 15 February 2010
Whitehaven 54 Doncaster 10: Whitehaven showed Doncaster precious little love on Valentine’s Day as they kept their Northern Rail Cup hopes alive in emphatic fashion.
The hosts were outstanding in the first-half and deservedly led 40-0 at the break, and they could perhaps be forgiven for taking their foot off the pedal later on.
It was a good, old-fashioned game of winter rugby, played on a heavy pitch, with Haven possibly taking note of the conditions by naming a heavyweight bench including Richard Farrer, David Ford and Kyle Amor.
All three helped set up a strong platform for the backs, including three-try winger Derry Eilbeck, to exploit.
Craig Calvert set the scene in the opening seconds, breaking from deep down the left flank.
The visitors then knocked on and Carl Rudd put in a slide-rule kick from a scrum for Eilbeck to touch down.
Calvert was at it again five minutes later, cutting loose to set up another attacking position and the impressive Spencer Miller dived over the whitewash, Dylan Skee, who kicked superbly, notching the first of his six conversions.
The Rudd/Eilbeck combination put further daylight between the teams on 14 minutes, the stand-off putting in another classy kick to the corner for his winger to chase.
Haven should have scored on the next set, Dexter Miller breaking the line with only the full-back to beat. But he ignored support on both sides and was taken down.
It was still one-way traffic however, and Reece Fox, promoted to the first-team squad this term, continued to catch the eye with a 22nd minute try.
Leeds Rhinos’ dual registration prop Amor also had a field day, and he broke through on the next set, again from his own half.
The prop showed composure as he slipped a pass to supporting full-back Craig Benson, who had a clear run to the line.
Haven were running riot down their left side, and nice hands along the line saw another break from midfield.
Calvert hacked ahead and looked likely to score before blatantly being taken out. Rather than blow up, ref Mr Turley played on and Spencer Miller re-gathered for his second try.
On 34 minutes, Doncaster mounted their first major attack and managed to force a drop-out.
But the hosts were never under any major threat, and moments later Farrer showed impressive power to barge over from close range. Skee’s conversion made the score 40-0 at the break, and the Recre cannot have witnessed such a one-sided half between two pro sides for some time.
When Calvert crossed on 44 minutes, off Rob Jackson’s generous pass, it seemed that normal service had been resumed.
But Haven failed to maintain their intensity and their handling started to suffer, coughing up possession a couple of times in vulnerable positions.
Stand-off Grant Edwards went between the sticks on the hour mark, Craig Fawcett converting, and four minutes later, winger Scott Wilson was first to a low, angled kick to touch down in the corner.
Amor made the Dons pay for failing to deal with Rudd’s bomb on 74 minutes, to score a well-deserved try.
And prop Marc Jackson, who used to kick goals for fun during his amateur career with Wath Brow, stepped up to convert.
Haven saved their best move of the half until the closing minute, great hands along the line putting Eilbeck in for his hat-trick try.
Haven: Benson, Eilbeck, R Fox, R Jackson, Calvert, Rudd, Skee, M Jackson, Mattinson, Hill, S Miller, D Miller, Barker. Subs: C Smith, Farrer, Ford, Amor
Tries: Eilbeck 3, S Miller 2, Fox, Benson, Farrer, Calvert, Amor. Goals: Skee 6, M Jackson 1
Doncaster: Griffith, Wilson, Gomersall, Osborne, Winter, Edwards, Fawcett, Bates, P Brown, Stanley, L Brown, Steen, Ely. Subs: Collins, Shaw, Bassinder, Howlett
Tries: Edwards, Wilson; Goals: Fawcett 1
Referee: W Turley
Star Man: Derry Eilbeck
First published at 11:28, Monday, 15 February 2010
Published by http://www.newsandstar.co.uk
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