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Super Newark sink old rivals





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Newark Rugby Club will attempt to continue their excellent start to the new season when they host Scunthorpe in a repeat of last season’s Three Counties Cup Final at Kelham Road tomorrow.

The upbeat mood was increased at the weekend when Newark won all four senior games against their old rivals Mansfield, led by the first team winning the Midlands Two East clash 39-15 at Eakring Road.

Scunthorpe also started on a winning note, beating Paviors 22-19, and will be determined to avenge last season’s defeat by Newark in the cup final.

Newark’s good start to the season has been laid by the hard nature of the pre-season fixtures against the stronger outfits Nottingham Corsairs and Newport from Shropshire.

The hard work paid off at Mansfield where Newark finished much the stronger team. Though the home team scored first, the visitors always looked the better outfit.

Aloesi Waqalevu — or Buddha to Kelham Road regulars — showed his outstanding pace once more by scoring four of his side’s five tries at Eakring Road.

One was a typical solo effort while two of the others came from good team work.

The fourth was a good old fashioned kick and chase after a Mansfield attack broke down.

After Waqalevu’s first try cancelled out Mansfield’s, the home team struck back with a penalty for an 8-5 lead.

However, by half-time Newark were 18-8 ahead from a second try by the Fijian and the goal-kicking of Danny Coen who added a conversion and two penalties.

Waqalevu struck again after the interval and Coen converted, and Newark looked set to dominate the last quarter only for Mansfield to grab a second try from some sloppy play in defence by the visitors.

From then on, though, Newark’s better fitness paid dividends and two more tries put the match out of reach. Waqalevu touched down for his fourth and the final try went to Joe Cormack, the centre, who finished off some excellent phase play. Coen converted to take his tally to 14 points.

Newark’s preparations had been disrupted by the late withdrawal of number eight Charlie Claydon who pulled out because of a hamstring problem, and Mark Staines answered a late SOS call to leave the 2nd XV match at Kelham Road.

Newark 2nds 28 - Mansfield 2nds 3

Mark Miller is proving one of Newark’s most versatile players by appearing at outside-half this season and he scored a try in this Pennant victory.

Miller joined the club as a prop before turning himself into a consistent first team winger last season. Now he has taken on the number ten jersey and has made an immediate contribution.

Newark dominated the match at Kelham Road by chalking up four tries. Besides Miller, centres Alex Moore, a newcomer from Southwell, and Dan Harrison scored tries alongside backrower Craig Hawes. Harrison also kicked four conversions.

Mansfield 3rds 5 - Newark 3rds 78

Toby Edlin had an afternoon to remember at Eakring Road where he ran in four tries in an overwhelming victory. The wing was joined by Jamie Sizer, last season’s Colts scrum-half, who grabbed two alongside centre Jock Mackinnon.

The other try scorers were Richard Clark, Michael Topley, Niall Goldie and Steve Hodges. Sizer kicked six conversions and Ben Ennals three.

Newark 4ths 23 - Mansfield 4ths 12

The goal kicking of Tom Lee proved a big factor in Newark 4ths gaining a victory in a tight game, with the full-back landing three penalties and converting tries by Ben Mason and Stan Hutchinson.

Two other “oldies” in Trev Waude and Nick Codd provided the ballast in a pack where Craig Barnsdale had a solid game at loose head.

Newark 5ths 55 - Ripley Rhinos 0

A father and son combined to bring success for a Newark 5th XV pulled together at the last minute. Richard Bunn, who scored a try the previous week, added two more as his son Ted also touched down.

Wing Ed Nelson contributed three tries and one each came from Mark Byrom, Paul Randall and Phil Bolger. Byrom kicked five conversions.

Southwell 1st XV 5 - Barton 1st XV 13

The Redmen took the field for their first league game of the season against promoted Barton and District and, with confidence and spirits high, the team were quietly confident.

But some poor decision-making across the park deflated the Southwell side and they came away the losers in what many viewed as a banker win.

Southwell started brightly, putting the visitors under some pressure with quick hands and hard running but Barton came back strongly and, despite Adam Madeley’s try, the visitors led 10-5 at the interval.

A Barton penalty was the only score of the second half, and the Redmen were left with the positives of some strong scrummaging and quick rucks, while they must dust themselves down for what looks like being one tough season ahead.



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