Sat. 23rdNovember 2013.Northern Wanderers vs Hartlepool Rovers. Candy League 2 home.
Rovers turned up with 15 players but no front row so they conceded the league points before kick-off and the game started with uncontested scrums. This negated Northern’s strong front five which has dominated the set piece scrums all season and allowed Rovers to exploit easy first phase ball and take the lead with a converted try on 7 minutes as Northern struggled for possession. This woke the Northern team up and fine driving play by prop Ian Brierley from a line out in the Rovers 22 on 15 minutes lead to a try by fly half Spike Strang. Rovers came back and scored their second try on 20 minutes from a penalty line out when they moved the ball left for an unconverted try out wide. Northern pressed Rovers back in their own half from the kick off and scored a second unconverted try on 25 minutes when from another line out in the 22 scrum half Aneel Nana picked the ball out of the driving maul and touched down out wide. Northern scored again on 32 minutes when fly half Spike Strang made a super midfield break and touched down under the posts. The conversion was good by wing Rhys Reynolds and he followed this with a penalty on 35 minutes to stretch the lead. Northern went to sleep after this and poor tackling allowed Rovers to score a soft try under the posts which they converted on 38 minutes to leave the half time score: Northern Wanderers20–Hartlepool Rovers 17.
A good team talk at half time yielded results for Northern in the second half when Rovers were unable to add to their score and were denied a bonus point. On 42 minutes a great break by centre James Marwick set fellow centre Doug Wilson in for a fine unconverted try. This was followed on 50 minutes by a penalty from wing Rhys Reynolds as Northern turned the screw. Northern scored again on 68 minutes when a nice break and solo run from centre James Marwick resulted in a try under the posts converted by wing Rhys Reynolds. Centre James Marwick repeated this with another good individual try on 73 minutes which was again converted by wing Rhys Reynolds. Northern had the final say when following slick hands and a break from inside the Northern half good support play was finished off by a powerful finish from wing Chris Raffo who scored an unconverted try out wide on 80 minutes. Final scoreNorthern Wanderers 47 – Hartlepool Rovers 17.