Tynedale 20, Hoppers 18

Garth Dew
Garth Dew
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Preston Grasshoppers were defeated in the North East as Tynedale came back from a 15-point deficit to claim victory.

Hoppers dominated the first half but a late try by the hosts followed by a yellow card early in the second half gave Tynedale a way back into the game.

Ill-discipline cost Hoppers as they got on the wrong side of the officials and again had a huge disparity in the number of penalties given against them.

“A couple of key decisions turned the game” said head coach Garth Dew. “I thought we played some great attacking rugby in the first half but only converted two of our four good chances and conceding the try on the stroke of half-time hurt us as we should have been 25 points up”

“Ill-discipline was certainly a factor but I thought the yellow card was harsh and it changed the game completely, they were able to get cheap penalties and we know we have to be squeaky clean.”

“We’ve got a week off to regroup now and we have to look forward to the next set of games as there are some massive fixtures coming up which we must win. Looking at the positives I thought Danny Burns played great in his first full start, John Mackenzie is really growing into the team and Luke Proctor did well coming into the starting XV at the last minute.”

Hoppers started well and soon were in front with a Sean Taylor penalty and extended the lead midway through the half with a Scott Jordan try from a nice counter attack after a turn over in midfield allowed the back three to stretch their legs and show off their finishing ability.

Hoppers second try also came from a turnover, this time from a line-out, before a superb break from Tom Hurst got Hoppers to the line before Harry Moulding snuck over.

However, Hoppers were unable to clear their lines from the resulting restart and a couple of missed tackles allowed Ashley Smith to cross taking the teams in 5-15 at the break.

Tynedale came out well and nearly got a try in the opening minutes of the half but settled for a Smith penalty and when Ally Murray saw yellow for a high tackle they took control of the game with Daniel Marshall scoring in the corner after a 5m scrum, Smith converted well and the hosts were with a score.

A Sean Taylor penalty pushed out Hoppers lead to five points before the games controversial moment saw Sam Gaff burst to the line surrounded by Hoppers tacklers, the referee was quickly to the scene and said he was held up but changed his decision after an intervention by his assistant on the far side of the field. Smith added the winning conversion and Tynedale ran out the game in Hoppers territory.