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Ilkeston 20 Newark 45: Bonus point victory continues Midlands Two East North winning streak

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Newark posted a convincing win by seven tries to three to go top of the Midlands Two East North by a point, ahead of Melbourne and Long Eaton.

It was the team’s third successive win so far this season to come complete with a try bonus point as well.

Newark president Ian Gilchrist said: “We are three weeks into the season and we have had the start I could only have dreamed of.

Newark Rugby Club. Credit: Jackie Britten (51632105)
Newark Rugby Club. Credit: Jackie Britten (51632105)

“Three wins from three and, at this moment in time, top of the league with a maximum five points from each game and some great tries, too.

“Players, new to the 1st team this season, have performed to a level we could only have hoped for.

“What is evident is the spirit within the team, and the fact that a team that trains together clearly plays better as a team.

“With success for the 2nd team, the colts and youth teams I believe the club is in a strong position going forward.”

A quick start, strong scrum, good support and direct running helped Newark to always be on the front foot at Ilkeston where they played better up the slope in the first half than afterwards.

Helped also by the dry conditions, the Newark runners had an afternoon to remember led by veteran centre Waqalevu Aloesi.

The centre was never out of the action, including some solid tackling, and he scored the final try for his team in the second half, capped off by a one-handed touchdown in the corner.

Newark’s backs contributed all the tries apart from one by bustling flanker Sean Denning. Alex O’Dell slotted five conversions.

That fast start put Newark in charge and led to an opening try from fly half Matt Walton who burst clear after initial pressure. O’Dell converted.

A burst of four tries in the run up to half time then settled the match.

After Denning had finished off one move, Newark played some of their best rugby to smoothly open up the opposition defence in two tries for wing Josh Ashe, plus one for captain Will Britten.

With O’Dell adding three conversions, Newark led 33-3 at half-time.

The second half did not provide such fireworks and Ilkeston enjoyed a much better share of the possession. They scored early in the half to reduce the deficit before Newark struck back for a sixth try, wing Ilai Naqasima scoring on the right.

Ilkeston gained a second try before Waqalevu provided a high point of the match by coolly finishing off in the corner.

The final try of the afternoon went to Ilkeston but they could not find enough momentum to grab a fourth which would have brought a bonus point.

Overall, Newark’s greater cohesion in the first half provided the impetus for a good win.

Newark 1sts’ next league game is on Saturday week (October 23) at home to Lincoln (3pm). The 2nds travel to Southwell this Saturday.

Newark Colts, who had to play with 14 due to an early injury, beat Nottingham Corsairs 31-21 in the first round of National Colts Cup on Sunday at Nottingham’s ground. Ben Daniels scored two tries.

Southwell’s 100% run continued on Saturday as they beat Coalville 22-12.

The win moved Southwell two points behind Newark.


Newark team v Ilkeston: Archdale; Ashe, Waqalevu, Britten, Naqasima; Walton, O’Dell; Cobb, Vinters, Hempstead, Duggan, Duncan, Codd, Denning, Dobson. Subs: Tarbatt, Garland, White.

Tries: Walton, Denning, Ashe (2), Britten, Naqasima, Waqalevu. Conversions: O’Dell (5).

Other scores in Midlands Two East North: Ashby 17, Southwell 22-Coalville 12, Ashbourne 20-Lincoln 18, Melbourne 19-Long Eaton 33, Matlock 24-Loughborough 5, Market Rasen 13.


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