Peterlee Pumas away to Woolston Rovers
Severe weather conditions on the M62 delayed the Pumas arrival at Woolston over an hour meaning despite best efforts Peterlee only arrived at 14:30 the normal kick off time but also delayed the referee by much later and a stand in match official was brought in from the Touch Judges to get game underway at 3pm.
Despite the distractions and lack of warm up Peterlee started strong, early hard hitting tackles showed a strong determination in defence and it wasn’t long before centre David Heckles was put through a gap in the defence on half way and went through to score out wide on the left.
The Pumas could be forgiven for thinking they had gone ahead a gain when prop Adam Howard crashed over and put the ball down with 4 hanging off him but the scheduled referee disallowed it having seen a knock on.
Woolston hit back and took the lead with two tries of their own and then Peterlee had another try chalked from Aaron Stott in similar fashion to the earlier one.
Woolston went to the other end and scored to make it 16 4 but then hooker Jack Adamson through an outrageous dummy on the left hand side of attack and went through the line, the conversion from Dean Townend making his Pumas NCL debut made it 16 10 at half time.
The second half started with an early Woolston try to make it 20 10 and another came out wide on the left despite John Malcolm crossing and having yet another try crossed off and another From Aaron Stott disallowed again in the same manner as the first half attempts and players on both sides were getting frustrated in what was a very closely contested battle.
Jack Adamson set up a couple of attacking moves close to the Woolston line then dummied from the ruck and went over himself to take the Pumas to 16 with 10 to go the score was 24 16 and Peterlee looked as strong as they ever had played.
Two late tries in the last couple of minutes from Woolston took the score to 32 16 and Peterlee went away feeling this was one that had got away from them. Man of the Match hooker Jack Adamson.
The Pumas A team travelled to Durham Tigers in what will be the only encounter between the two sides in a lopsided fixture structure in the Norht East League this year. In typical Pumas A team fashion who were bouy d from a classic cup win against a Gateshead Storm side that had fielded a lot of their first team the previous week the Pumas played some excellent wide rugby with flare against the Durham Tigers first team. Young Kieran Taylor at dummy half was the man of the match although had to leave before half time with a broken collar bone. Full time score 42 28 to Durham Tigers.
Next games, First Team away to Hindley in the National Conference League, A team away to Winlaton Warriors, North East League.
North East cup, pumas A beat gateshead 46 40 at home. Not originally entered into the cup, Peterlee agreed to play to make up the numbers and put a scratch side together to take on division 2 league leaders Gateshead. The visitors went 3 tries up in the first 20 to take an 18 point lead but the Peterlee took charge of teh first half with 3 tries of thier own. Storm closed out the half with another try to make it 22 18. Peterlee started the half with two tries quickly to go in to the lead with Gateshead replying but to make it 28 30 to the visiters and then another to take the score to 36 28 but But the young Pumas side rallied with another 2 scores to take it to 42 points with 7 to go, a forced errror from a huge bomb put the gateshead back 3 under pressure and the pumas closed the game out with a last minute try Full time 46 40 to little Peterlee. 2 of the Pumas stronger junior sides looked to have suffered from over confidence with schock defeats away Durham Demons at under 16 and Tigers at under 12s whilst the , pumas 14s who have struggled for numbers and results with a largely brand new line up got their first win, following a draw against Conseet the week before in a game the felt they should have won, confidence was growing in the Pumas newest side, winning by a couple of tries in the end in a game where teh lead changed hands several times. All games played in really hot conditions but in the right spirit, well done to the players from all the sides involved.
Peterlee still under Caretaker Coach Rob Laverick went into the game confident with a full strength first choice team. Playing well in patches and competing well but then paying heavily for loss of concentration, it seemed whenever they took their foot off the Gas Coventry were able to penalise with a score.
Stephen Colman, Crosse after 7 minutes and converted to make it 6 0 to the visitors., Liam Scott, Chris Dixon twice and Colman again with another 3 conversions took the half time score to 32 0.
Peterlee started the second half well and again were competing both in attack and defence but on the 45th minute, Hooker Luke Leyland suffered what turned out to be a dislocated CV vertebrae and the game had to be halted for half an hour. The Ambulance took over two hours to arrive and by chance a fire engine attending a false alarm nearby helped with getting Luke onto a spinal board for which the Pumas are most grateful for.
The game was moved onto the Pumas 2nd Pitch to continue, and Coventry started back off the better keeping possession for most of the first quarter of the half. Liam Scott, Matt Cooper, Chris Barrett and Christian Jacobs all Scored in a 20 minute spell with 3 conversions from Colman to take the Coventry total to 64 as Peterlee desperately tried to reorganise without their hooker. Standoff Jack Adamson moved to Dummy half for the last 10 minutes and got the Pumas attack moving well again. A good shift wide left put Prop Andre Rollins over on a cut inside and Centre Danny Wilson ran in 30m from out wide on the left to go under the posts, scrum half Leigh Wheatley scored both conversions to make the full time score 12-64 to Coventry.
Peterlee now have a two week break but some positives to work on by some forced tactical changes say a more effective attack from Peterlee and certainly something to build on.
Man of the Match, Loose forward, Junior Sullivan for Peterlee Pumas, Prop Matt Cooper for Coventry.
Next games, 10th May, 1s team away to Blackbrook, 2nd team home to Whitley Bay Barbarians.
Peterlee travelled to Eastmoor in good spirit on the back of a very strong second half at home to Woolston the Previous week. Competition for places has started paying benefits and real progress seems to have been made.
The Pumas started well and had good chances to score in the first few minutes but the attack is still not aggressive enough and the home side kept them out and went down the other end to score an easy try from dummy half close to the line.
Peterlee then spent 5 back to back sets in the Home 30 m zone as repeat sets were gained or penalties were given away but chances went begging and it was clear the attack needs to be a lot more clinical. The moves are there but the running needs to be a lot harder.
After 25 minutes it was still 6 0 to the home side and it looked as though the Pumas were going to put a really good performance in but a similar story to previous games, as the interchanges started a lack of strength in depth became evident. The Peterlee defensive line slowed right down and were almost static at times. Eastmoor took advantage with some strong hard but simple running and took a 32 0 lead into the half time break.
The game was gone by now and although Peterlee fought back with some organised attacking plays at times they just couldn't cross whilst the visitors posted another 36 points in the 2nd half. Simply not a good enough performance for the last three quarters of the game and work needs to be done in practice to get back on track.
The Pumas are at home to Coventry this Saturday at 14:30 and are recruiting players for the A team who start their north east fixtures on the 3rd May
Notable performances came from centre David Grace making his pumas debut making a lot of last ditch tackles and Man of the Match to Pumas loose forward Junior Sullivan for a battling display.