MATCH REPORT – Thunder 48 – 10 Town

Newcastle Thunder put in a masterful display in Betfred League 1 on Sunday afternoon, as they demolished Workington Town 48-10 at Kingston Park Stadium.

Scoring ten tries to their visitors two, it was one of the team’s best performances of the season, moving them up to third in the table and still in the hunt for the league one title

It was a result built heavily on an utterly dominant opening half hour in which Thunder ran riot, running in five tries as they ripped the opposition defence to shreds.

Newcastle got themselves onto the front foot by riding out the threat posed by an early Forty/20 from Workington, before going on their try scoring rampage.

It began off the good work of half-back Nick Newman that scythed open the Workington defence and laid the platform for the ball to be worked out wide, where club stalwart Joe Brown was waiting to speed in to get his side of the mark with an unconverted try.

Setting the tone of Thunder attacking with precision and endeavour, almost everything the hosts tried came off, as they raced into a towering lead.

Newman was the orchestrator of the second as a perfectly judged kick sat up to wrong foot the Workington defence and allowed Misi Taulapapa to tap the ball in-field.

It went directly into the waiting hands of Matty Wright for his debut try, before Mikey Lewis scooped up a Workington kick through to scorch his way to an 80m solo effort.

The deluge of scores continued as Thunder made hay on their right edge, with Taulapapa bagging a brace as he, Newman and Wright continued to combine superbly and open up their visitors almost at will.

With a strong breeze conspiring against the kickers, just one successful conversion meant Thunder had left plenty of points on the field, but we’re good value for the 22-point lead as the pace and intensity finally relented with ten minutes to go to the break.

After such a dominant first half, Thunder made a more sluggish start to the second forty and after being forced into defending two repeat sets, had their defensive line breached as Workington strung together some nice passages of play together.

Making the most of their foothold, Sean Penkywicz was the man to get the Cumbrians off the mark as he forced his way over from close range.

It sparked a passage of tit-for-tat scoring between the sides as Taulapapa’s hat-trick score on 55mins got the Thunder steamroller back underway, before Workington hit back soon after as Jamie Doran embarked on a mazy run to score under the posts.

It was only a temporary spell of parity however as Thunder conjured up four unanswered tries to put the game to bed as their half-backs continued to call the tune.

Failing to deal with a Lewis high ball allowed Matty Wright to pick off his second try of the day, before the half-back turned from provider to scorer as Newman played the 17-year-old into a gap for his second long distance run in of the afternoon.

Lewis became the hattrick hero as the duo repeated the trick in the closing stages, before Rhys Clarke rounded things out with a close range crash over on the sound of the final hooter.

Newcastle Thunder

Alex Clegg, Misi Taulapapa, Joe Brown, Keiran Gill, Matty Wright, Nick Newman, Mikey Lewis, Liam McAvoy, Keal Carlile, Joel Edwards, Rhys Clarke, Conor Fitzsimmons, Harry Aldous, Sam Luckley, Jared Blanke, Evan Simons, Jack Aldous

Tries: Brown (11) Wright (13, 64) Lewis (16, 67, 74) Taulapapa (19, 25, 57) Clarke (80)

Goals: Lewis 1/5, Newman 0/1 Wright 3/4

Workington Town

Ryan Fieldhouse, Tyllar Mellor, Calvin Wellington, Perry Singleton, Jonathan Walsh, Jamie Doran, Oliver Russell, Stevie Scholey, Declan O’Donnell, Fui Fui Moi Moi, Sam Hewiit, Gordan Maudling, Danny Tickle, Oliver Wilkes, Andrew Dawson, Tom Curwen, Sean Penkywicz

Tries: Penkywicz (48) Doran (59)

Goals: Doran 1/2

Penalty count: 5-5

Half-time: 22-0

Referee: Tom Crashley

Attendance: 1,077