Peterlee having lost head coach Martin Flynn at their previous loss away to Featherstone had had just a couple of sessions to rebuild and put something together for this tough home game against last season's promotion contenders Woolston Rovers.
Caretaker Coach Rob Laverick is in charge for just a couple of games to experiment with some new combinations until paper work for Joe Cooke the newly appointed coach was satisfied with the 2nd half performance after a lot of reorganising from going down 32 0 in the first half and only conceding 6 points on the 56th minute with plenty of chances to score that were only held out by a determined Woolston Defence.
Woolston open the scoring in the 5th and 8th minutes through Jordan Millington and Christian Taylor who then crossed again on the 22nd minute which was converted by Danny O Brian to take the score to 14 0 to the visitors. Sean Conway took it to 18 0 with another 2 from O Brian and then Dan Brown Crossed on the half hour again converted by Obrien. Obrien Converted Gavin Bishops score just before half time to make it 32 0 to the visitors at the break.
A lot chopping and changing in the first half for the Pumas to work out a way forwards steadied the performance in the second half and a much more competitive half came from the young Pumas side. Putting some good attacking sets of 6 together that took some good defence from the strong Woolston outfit to keep them out. Some naïve choices made in attack also which will only get better with experience also meant the Pumas couldn't cross but the big positive was they held the Woolston side out apart from a Mark Robson try on the 56th minute and a Gavin Bishop Conversion which took the final score to Peterlee 0 Woolston 38. Man of the Match for Peterlee Center Danny Wilson for some good attacking but strong defence and for Woolston, Full Back James Rosson.
Lots to build on now and the Pumas are getting back on track, still a long way to go but an encouraging 2nd half performance from the Pumas.
Peterlee are recruiting players all the time for 1s, 2nd and 3rd teams, training is now Mondays and Wednesdays at 6:30pm. Also the Junior section is the largest in the North East of England running teams at every age group but are always after new players with any level of ability or experience and are even running teams where the NE Rugby League don't provide a league at present so are looking for friendly games out of the region.
PETERLEE PUMAS 6 BLACKBROOK 56
Steven Parkinson opened the scoring after just 3 minutes from a well worked shift to the left followed 10 minutes later by Danny Fairhurst and another on the quarter of an hour mark by Parkinson again, this time able to convert to make it 14 0 to the visitors after 15 minutes.
Peterlee had plenty of ball in the opening quarter and had sets close to the Brook line but just couldn't get the final attacking move together to cross where the visitors were more clinical in the attack on the edges.
Several attacks down the wing were snuffed out by Stalwart loose forward Carl Brown who rolled back the years to chase down the Blackbrook wingers and Scrum half Jack Adamson put his best attacking performance together yet and together with Brown tackled themselves to water in easily posting 50 plus tackles each.
On the 20th minute a couple of strong hard running runs from the forwards, a break from Centre Gregg Newlands and quick play of the ball to put Prop Richard foster in from 20 meters for the Pumas which was converted by Paul Flynn was the Pumas consolation in this game but then 5minuts later Ian Honey crossed for Brook, converted by Parkinson, and Davidson scored again just before the break to take the Half time score to 6-24 to Blackbrook.
Peterlee held out for the first 10 in the 2nd half but Parkinson went over again to make it 6 28, but generally the first 20 of the 2nd half was well balanced with both sides trading sets until the 60th Minute when Scot Davidson crosses, converted by Parkinson, Parkinson went in again straight from the kick off, converting to add the extras and he got another straight from the kick off as the Pumas could not shore up the right hand wing. Honey went in again virtually from the KO and Parkinson crossed for another followed by Jack Parker minutes later from a horrific right hand side defensive 10 minutes from the Pumas. Some changes shored up the defence for the home side for the last 10 minutes but Greg Hill crossed in the last minute of the game, converted by Parkinson to make the final score 6-56. Pumas Man of the Match, Full Back Leigh Wheatley, Black Brook, 2nd Rower Darren Forshaw.
Next game away to Featherstone, 29th March.
Peterlee were hit by injuries and illness this week but a lot needs to be done to increase the playing pool available to them in the area. A massive junior recruitment and development program is underway in Primary and Secondary schools to broaden the playing base for the medium to long term and there are now more Junior Pumas than ever thanks to a massive recruitment program over the last year. The Peterlee Club recently supplied almost a 3rd of the North East under 16s squad which, for a town the size it is highly disproportionate but indicative of both the massive amount of work done by the Pumas volunteers but obviously the club needs to be able to rely on its own stream of Juniors coming through so either needs to look at some way of bringing more juniors in or being able to have access to the players its produced.
At open age level, the core of the young pumas outfit continue to get better and it is a process that needs to be gone through. A lot better than the same time last season and a lot more to come yet.
An incredibly tough away day for the Pumas young side, a few late injuries and work making a few unavailable lead to 7 changes from the side that performed against Heworth at home the week before. The home side, Crossfields have recruited a lot of good new players and on the back of drawing with top side Blackbrook the week before are a completely different side to last year. The home side were looking for a big celebration to commemorate the opening of their new £100K pitch in front of sky, press and a very big crowd, plus a formal presentation to the Pumas after the game they were looking to put a good show on.
The Pumas are 30 to 40 points a game better defensively this year and the attack is a lot more dynamic with some good go forward and the Pumas started well, especially with several people playing out of position and put some good attacking sets but the final passes turned over the ball too far up the field and Crossfields took 24 0 half time lead.
By the time second rower Steve Horsley came off with a broken nose and concussion the pumas we're looking to go 3/4 of the game with 1 interchange player left but battled on through a second session where they went long periods without getting the ball. Debutant Adam Capper went well in the second row but came off with a broken finger for treatment however after some tender care and lots of tape went back on later for the last 15. By this time the home side were scoring at will as the pumas conceded 60 second half points, consolation for Peterlee though, a good break from scrum half Jack Adamson got the Pumas going forward in good position, a couple of quick tackles and a bomb kick from Adamson soared high into the corner and winger Boawe Rankin rose into the air to win and tap it back for prop John Malcolm who played the full 80 at prop to score.
The Pumas are massively improved and much better than last year and miles better than the score suggests however circumstances and the big occasion conspired against the young Peterlee outfit this time. Every game will be like a cup final and a much stronger team spirit along with some good new signings are propelling the Pumas forwards. Another man of the match performance from veteran loose forward Carl Brown.
No game next week gives opportunity to learn from mistakes and recover and prepare for the next home game v Blackbrook on the 22nd March at 14:30 which will be followed by the club race night. All welcome.
Peterlee Pumas kicked off their 2nd season at National Level on Saturday, having worked really hard over the off season and brining in some new faces to strengthen the squad the Pumas were hit with set backs at the last minutes as several players pulled up injure or employers called some in to work.
Still a quick reshuffle and the pumas strong squad was able to accommodate and quickly took the lead after 4 minutes through scrum half jack Adamson. Heworth came back at the home side but the Peterlee defence is a lot stronger this year and it wasn’t till the 24th minute when former Castleford Tigers forward Jonathan Payne crossed for the Visitors from York. Darryl Fogg and George Wilkinson quickly followed up at 4 minute intervals and Paul Thompson had the last word in the 1st half 2 minutes from half time which was converted by Danny Allan who could boast experience with Leeds Rhinos.
Half time 4-20.
Allan was the difference in the sides and showed good organisation skills to keep Heworth going forward
A quick score straight from the kick off through mark Hayes following a mistake receiving the kick and Allan converted but then Peterlee steadied themselves again and battled and contested everything for the next 20 minutes. Payne crossed again after 61 minutes again, converted by Allan but then Pumas loose forward Carl Brown broke the line on the Pumas 40 and showed everyone a clean pair of heels to cross to take the score to 8 32. Josh Poulter hit straight back for Heworth to make the score 8 36.
A much improved performance from the Young Peterlee side who will get better as they go this year, notable performances from scrum half Jack Adamson who was the only out and out half back in the side this week and also made over 40 tackles, Carl Brown gave the side some good go forward and some steel in defence and New boys Kevin McGuire at second row and Taz Pelser also fronted up well and caused the visitors problems. The Pumas outside Edges that were their vulnerable points last year also did well with several last minute tackles saving the day and former Junior Ian Chapman playing on the wing for his first ever open age game at 18 years old performed well more than holding his. More players to come back next week for the trip to what looks to be a strengthened Crossfields outfit but everyone looks forward to the trip.