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Saturday, 04 July 2015

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Haven put on first-class show to squash the Welsh Scorpions

WHITEHAVEN put on a technically-perfect performance in South Wales on Sunday to earn an impressive 34-0 win over the Scorpions.

Star of the show: Carl Sice scored a hat-trick in the drubbing of South Wales Scorpions

Both their attack and defence were spot on and while one couldn’t say the Scorpions played a dreadful game, they were out-played and out-muscled throughout.

As well as collecting all three points, Haven will go down in history as the first side to ever nil the Scorpions in what was the Welsh club’s 52nd competitive game, this being only their third season in existence.

Leading the way in attack for Haven were Carl Sice and Sam Gee. Sice was initially moved from his regular hooker position to start the game at stand-off and wearing the number six shirt seemed to do him well as he went over the line three times to earn the man of the match award. His link up with Gee ensured that Haven controlled the game and it completely confused the Scorpions when their positions were swapped in the second half.

The torrential rain in the first 20 minutes caused both sides to make mistakes as one would expect and the rugby struggled to flow.

It was a battle to get out of midfield. Scott McAvoy made an attempt but he was a few metres short, Dave Houghton’s try was ruled out for a forward pass.

But McAvoy found a wide open gap from his next opportunity and twisted his way through to give Haven the lead. The conversion from Ben Karalius was successful.

They doubled their lead just after the half-hour when Carl Sice picked up Karalius’ chip and was left with too much space to score. Karalius converted.

A third try was rightfully ruled out thanks to Carl Sice’s forward pass to Bradd Crellin which would have been another text-book effort for the talented visitors.

Again Haven were denied just minutes from the half-time hooter. A Karalius one two with Luke Isakka looked forward but wasn’t given, but Karalius dropped the ball as he was grounding which was poetic justice.

The sun came out in the second half and Haven took advantage played some free flowing rugby.

Sam Gee added Haven’s third on 45 minutes as he dived over from short range but the goal attempt hit the post.

Scorpions’ best attack of the game was on 50 minutes and was thwarted after James Greenwood dropped the ball while under pressure.

The Welsh were again unlucky not to make ground for a score with Rod Peake putting David James through but the referee brought play back for an infringement. Also, Shaun Owens kicked a good grubber through but the ball was picked up by Papua New Guinea international Jessie Joe Parker.

But after surviving those minor scares, Haven dominated the final 10 minutes.

Their fourth try was a good chase from Sice following a penalty, as, back in the hooker position, he ran over for his second. Karalius converted.

And the rout was completed with two further tries in the final three minutes, Gee, back at half-back, scored the fifth, with Sice’s third and Haven’s sixth coming 30 seconds from the hooter. Karalius kicked the extras on both occasions.

Match facts

SCORPIONS: James, Grant, Parker, Reece, Callow, Peake, Owens, Spencer, Mossop, Greenwood, Bateman, Burke, Davies. Subs: Parry, Wilkinson, Vitalini, Pitman

WHITEHAVEN: Parke, Calvert, Wiper, McAvoy (c), Hamzat, Sice, Karalius, Houghton, Gee, Varkulis, Beattie, Doran, Crellin. Subs: Wilson, Isakka, Culnean, Haggerty

Tries: McAvoy (20), Sice (32, 70, 79), Gee (45, 77)

Goals: Karalius 5/6

Attendance: 231

Half-time: 0-12

Referee: Chris Leatherbarrow

Penalty Count: 6-6

Star man: Carl Sice


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