After a disappointing game down at Leeds Beckett the week before, Newcastle had to put in a strong performance in what could be seen as a must-win game. The game against Manchester Met gave NURL the opportunity to take their first win of the season, and show what they are capable of.
The match started with a good arm wrestle between the two sides, both playing out their sets well. It wasn’t until a Jason Bass break that got the ball rolling on Newcastle’s side that the game truly began. Spread play to the wing, that would be a feature throughout the 80 minutes, saw Josh Catlett go over in the corner to give Newcastle the lead.
Moments later, Newcastle gained a good field position from an awful kick off that went onto the road, which allowed Sam Norris to score in the opposite corner. A great start from NURL saw them 10-0 up within the first 10 minutes.
Penalties continued to cost Man Met, a 40/20 from Olly Hogg resulted in a penalty due to blocking a man off the ball. This then turned the scoreline to 14-0 as Josh Catlett went in for his second try. Man Met at this point were breaking. Hogg, on the half way line, carved Man Met open and added further insult to injury to score under the sticks.
"Newcastle’s domination brought frustration for Man Met, with one player being sent off for head-butting, and another sin binned for backchat"
With the points racking up and barely 20 minutes gone, NURL were relentless with the pressure, and the boys in blue and orange began to crumble. Josh Catlett grabbed his third try through a break from Jed Mawdesley, giving himself a hat-trick with only 20 minutes on the clock.
Newcastle’s domination brought frustration for Man Met, with one player being sent off for head-butting, and another sin binned for backchat. With Man Met down to 11 men, and the score reading 26-0 in Newcastle’s favour, their chances seemed to be sinking fast.
Newcastle finished the half in style; Josh Cattlett got his fourth in the corner, because being two players down left them short on the open side. Aaron Levy then broke the line and backed himself the 70 meters to score, making the score 34-0 at half time.
Newcastle kept their foot on the accelerator in the second half. Errors and coughing up possession needlessly were the only negative comments that came out of the Newcastle dressing room. A series of tries in quick succession came courtesy of winger Sam Norris in the second half.
"NURL were relentless with the pressure, and the boys in blue and orange began to crumble"
When Man Met started to tire, Newcastle stepped it up a gear. A kick over the top helped Bass dive on the ball to bring Newcastle up to 50-0. Catlett and Norris both got another try each on either wing, and a great break from Hogg saw Aaron Leavy in support, bringing up his brace and helping Newcastle complete the route.
Newcastle’s defence was incredible throughout the game, from goal line scrambles to dominating and demoralizing the Man Met pack. The score line reflected Newcastle’s commanding performance, and gives them confidence going into next week’s fixture against the Universiy of Leeds. A special mention must be given to coach Parker on his 50th game coaching the NURL lads.