13/14 Wanderers. Gateshead II 17 - 15 Wanderers

Northern started this fixture with 11 changes from the previous Saturday with a team mix of youth and experience. A promising start by Northern lead to an early score when centre Alex Turnbull seeing space behind a flat Gateshead defensive line kicked out of the 22 to set up a chase for the quick Northern backs. Scrum half Tommy Williams beat the defenders and kicked on and won the race to sore a good opportunist try on 2 minutes which he converted himself. Northern went to sleep and Gateshead had a good period of possession leading to a soft try out wide on 11 minutes where poor tackling following an inability to clear their lines let Gateshead score. The conversion was also successful after rebounding off the post and crossbar to tie the game. Northern pressed Gateshead back with the pack well lead by captain, Peter Allsop dominating their counterparts in the set pieces. Despite winning a lot of good ball lack of precision and composure meant that Northern were unable to add to this score until the 39th minute when the Northern pack shunted the Gateshead pack back from a 5 metre scrum and number 8 Tom Sealby scored an unconverted try out wide. Half time score: Northern Wanderers 12–Gateshead 7.
Northern made one change after half time moving David Reah to fly half in an attempt to find more fluidity however following a good kick off by Gateshead some indecisive play by Northern allowed Gateshead to attack deep into the Northern 22 where following a series of infringements Gateshead took a quick tapped penalty and moved the ball wide to score an unconverted try on 43 minutes to level the game once more. Northern cranked up the pressure on Gateshead from the kick off and the pack was again dominant but the Gateshead defence held and Northern’s lack of clinical finishing was exposed. A sustained period of pressure from Northern resulted in two missed long range penalty attempts on 52 and 53 minutes then after the Northern pack humped Gateshead back 10 metres and won a penalty. They opted for a 5 metre scrum and this should have resulted in a push over try on 58 minutes when number 8 Tom Sealby appeared to ground the ball only for the referee to disallow it for an apparent knock on when it looked like a Gateshead player’s hand trying to pull the ball back from an offside position. Gateshead were still pinned back in their own half and Northern had another missed penalty attempt on 60 minutes followed by an excellent long range penalty from David Reah to move Northern into a 3 point lead on 63 minutes.Northern began to tire at this point as Gateshead made several changes bringing on fresh players and despite some excellent defensive work by the Northern pack including one massive tackle by captain Peter Allsop, Gateshead somehow managed another unconverted try out wide despite a suspicion of a knock on to take the lead on 75 minutes. Northern rallied from the kick off and pressed Gateshead back for the remaining 5 minutes and Gateshead eventually conceded a penalty 30 metres out right on time. The kick just drifted agonisingly wide leaving the final score:Northern Wanderers 15 – Gateshead17.

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