Carlisle put 10 tries past a depleted St Benedict's side
Carlisle made short work of putting ten tries past a severely depleted St Benedict’s side at Warwick Road.
The 64-0 victory opened their account in the new surroundings of North One West.
There couldn’t have been a starker contrast with last week’s summer weather at Wilmslow, when the heavens opened shortly before the match started.
It gave Carlisle’s new drainage system a good testing, more so than the visitors.
Although the conditions eased off both sides could be forgiven if ball handling became an issue due to the greasy conditions.
Carlisle started the match very much on the front foot and it wasn’t long before number eight James Robsonpeeled off the back of a rolling maul and touched down for Carlisle’s first try, converted by fly half Max Connon.
Carlisle had to be on their guard though, as an interception nearly ended in points for the visitors but for a cover tackle by full-back James Clark.
Saints pushed the home defence hard for a few minutes but indiscipline allowed Carlisle to clear their lines.
A series of penalties by the visitors enabled Carlisle to reach the visitors’ 22 where they were able to capitalise.
A five metres scrum saw the ball spread to Connon, who ducked under some tackles to score.
Saints were guilty of a number of offences at the breakdown, giving Carlisle a lot of possession in the visitor’s half. A cross-field kick by Connon was caught by winger Ben Purdham who put Clark into space. Although he was bustled into touch Carlisle stole the line-out and moved the ball wide to winger Paul Lowery who scored his maiden try.
Carlisle were in the ascendancy and a lovely line hit by outside centre Matthew Minett took play up to near the visitors’ line. The resulting ruck ball was spread to scrum half James Telford to score the bonus point try on the half hour mark. Two further tries came in quick succession as Connon walked over for his second, and prop Alex Neil crashed over with the last play of the half.
It was a subdued start to the second half, as Carlisle seemed to lose focus with a big 8-0 lead.
A lack of clinical purpose on their part allowed the West Cumbrians a lot more possession.
They were never allowed to make much of it, and the home defence was more than equal to anything that Saints could throw at it.
Fifteen minutes into the second half replacement prop Angus Fulton burst through some tackles to score his maiden senior try and re-start the momentum.
That seemed to open up the visitors’ defence, and further tries for Lowery, Minett, and a fingertip try by Purdham at the end, gave Carlisle a comfortable win.