Cumbrian Lessons being Learned
Cumbria Regional Academy under 20s 42 vs. University of Gloucestershire All Golds under 20s 10
In early April Cumbria came to Gloucestershire and conquered by 0 – 70. In the reverse fixture last Saturday the All Golds travelled North and were hit with an opening stanza whirlwind and found themselves looking down both barrels at the break and trailing 36 – 4. The only All Golds scorer being the ever impressive dummy half Luke Stephens who stars in the winter for Old Cryptians rugby union club. Unfortunately he was not able to play the second period due to an ankle injury.
However the resumption witnessed a much better performance by the All Golds. The defence became much more dogged and regimented with improved communication.
Gloucestershire lost Liam Rice-Wilson to a head knock mid-way through and this allowed James Simons from Hartpury College to display his abilities at half back in what was only his second game of rugby league.
Eventually the visitors were rewarded with a further try when Daniel Spencer-Tonks powered over. James Mason converted. Mike Stewart received a yellow card in the last 5 minutes along with Cumbrian hooker Brad Marwood for a minor skirmish.
Ryan Lee, on his return from a shoulder injury, captained the side and orchestrated play with an astute kicking game.
Connor Jones caught the eye in attack making a lot of metres from centre.
For the impressive Cumbrians Shane Toal scored 3 tries. A fine player who will represent Scotland in the Commonwealth Games 9s next week. His fellow centre Joe Hambley weighed in with a brace. The University of Gloucestershire has offered rugby league scholarships to both of them and with good reason. Other Cumbrian try scorers were Liam Armstrong from the wing position and Brad Marwood with a dart from dummy half from 40 metres out. Cole Walker-Taylor converted 7 from 8 after directing play well from the stand-off position.
Player-Coach for the day Mike Stewart was pleased with the improvements being made by this age group:
“Overall we had a greatly improved performance from the reverse fixture, especially the second half holding them to 6-6. Cumbria complimented us on the strides we have made in the short space of time. It is important to bear in mind that the Cumbrian side was full of top young players assembled from some of the best junior clubs in British rugby.”
For more information about the All Golds Touch Rugby visit www.allgoldsrugby.com/play-touch-rugby or follow them on Twitter @AllGolds
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