MATCH REPORT – Newcastle Thunder 56 – 6 West Wales Raiders

Newcastle Thunder made it three wins in a row on Saturday afternoon with a solid 56-6 win over West Wales Raiders in Betfred League 1.

Taking on the same opposition for the second time in a week, it was a satisfactory showing for the side under the caretaker charge of Michael Heap as they add build up momentum from a slow start to the season.

Running in a total of 12 tries on a blustery day in the North East, it is a win that allows Thunder to maintain pace at the top end of the League table ahead of a tricky trip to Whitehaven a week on Sunday.

It was a breakneck start for the hosts with four tries in the bank in the opening 15 minutes as strong running and good hands allowed them to score almost at will.

They were off the mark after their first set thanks to Lewis Young, before Misi Taulapapa, Keal Carlile and Mo Agoro all crossed to finish tries that were created through clean execution of simple rugby skills.

The only negative from Thunder’s point of view to the opening quarter was the loss of Remy Marginet to an ankle injury, which resulted in Newcastle running a makeshift half-back pairing for the rest of the match.

After failing to complete their first set of the day with a handling error on the floor whilst hunting down a fifth try, the Raiders brief respite was ended with Agoro employing some fancy footwork down the wing.

Feinting a step inside, he expertly wrong-footed his opposite man to give himself an easy run to the line.

It was the first of three scores in five minutes in another purple patch for the hosts and was followed with Cory Aston finishing off a simple two on one following a break in midfield before Connor Fitzsimmons took the reward from another good display of hands on the visitors’ line.

After a relentless opening half hour, Thunder began to misfire in the closing stages of the half, with the Raiders taking advantage and getting themselves off the mark through Sam Herron after their first real period of note in Thunder’s half.

Following a Steady opening to the second half, it was Thunder who opened the scoring through Young as the fullback came up on a sharp support line to back up a break through the midfield by Carne Doyle-Manga.

It wasn’t the opening of the floodgates that Young’s opening try of the day signalled though, as the Newcastle had to wait the better part of twenty minutes before crossing again.

Creating an overlap, it was Taulapapa who had seemingly increased his team’s advantage, but with Agoro on his outside, the skipper unselfishly passed to his team-mate so he could claim his hat-trick.

While not hitting the highs that they enjoyed earlier in the game, Thunder were able to stretch their lead over the remainder of the fixture, with Fitzsimmons’ and Aston’s second scores of the day coming either side of a close-range Alex Rowe effort.

Newcastle Thunder

Lewis Young, Mo Agoro, Misi Taulapapa, Kieran Gill, Tyler Craig, Remy Marginet, Cory Aston, Jack Aldous, Keal Carlile, Sam Luckley, Conor Fitzsimmons, Aaron Ollett, Liam McAvoy, Evan Simons, Carne Doyle-Manga, Alex Rowe, Harry Aldous

Tries – Young (1, 43) Taulapapa (5) Carlile (8) Agoro (11, 17, 55) Aston (19, 78) Fitzsimmons (22, 63) Rowe (74)

Goals – Marginet 0/1, Aston 4/11

West Wales Raiders

Phil Cowburn, David Evans, Callum Mulkeen, Rinaldo Palumbo, Liam Clark, Liam Rice-Wilson, Tyler Hunt, Chris Vitalini, Morgan Rowlands, Sam Herron, Archie Snook, Michael Connor, Ashley Bateman, Dan Maiden, Ryan Shallish, Dimosthenis Kartsonakis, Kurtis Haile

Try – Herron (34)

Goal Hunt 1/1