After gradual improvements in form, albeit in defeats, Carlisle Rugby Club turned things around as they gained a five-try bonus point win at home, which was richly deserved.

They beat a Rossendale side, lying next to bottom, 35-15 after responding well to conceding the first try of the game on 16 minutes.

A line-out in the Rossendale half gave Carlisle the opportunity to spread the defence wide and, with the forwards making big carries, they established a ruck five metres out.

Scrum-half James Telford fed the ball back inside to player-coach Matt Shields. Shields dragged men and ball over the line by the post for a try, converted by full-back Jason Israel.

From the restart, prop Josh Holmes latched on to a pass out wide and, showing an impressive turn of speed, crashed into the last defender on the 22, before offloading in the tackle to Grant Connon for an easy try. That try was converted by Israel.

More good driving work by the Carlisle forwards set up a ruck in front of the posts.

This time, Telford spun the ball right and Holmes was, again, out on the wing to drive over in the right corner for the third try, with Israel converting.

Carlisle spent the rest of the half defending as Rossendale threw everything at them but there were no further scores.

Rossendale lost their number eight to the sin-bin early in the second half and the numbers told.

Carlisle secured possession from a line-out and, cleverly, drove the maul 15 metres over the line for Holmes to bag his second try on 53 minutes for the bonus point, converted by Israel.

The Cumbrians scored their fifth and final try as Rossendale’s defence was beginning to tire.

After the Carlisle forwards softened up the visitors, Max Connon twisted and turned his way past the last defender for a fifth converted try.

Rossendale were left chasing the game and missed two good opportunities.

The away side did, however, manage a second unconverted score as Carlisle were reduced to 14 men for the rest of the game after a no-arms tackle by Tom Percival.

This led to a sustained period of pressure by the visitors as they sought to get at least a losing bonus point out of the game.

Carlisle, though, kept their shape and only just coughed up a third score for Rossendale at the end.

But it was too late to make any difference, with Carlisle deservedly taking the game and the five points last Saturday.

Ahead of another home match at Warwick Road this Saturday, this time against Harrogate, Carlisle are now up to ninth in the North Premier league table.