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Monday, 24 November 2014

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Haven step up a gear to take their toll on Scorpions

HAVEN were made to work hard by a much-improved Scorpions outfit before running away with the match in the final quarter.

The South Wales defence was hugely-impressive in the first-half, but their heavy workload took its toll later in the game, and Haven were well on top at the end.

It was all Haven in the opening exchanges, with Scott McAvoy held up over the Welsh line in the fifth minute.

The Cumbrians were given a scare in the ninth-minute when a Carl Rudd pass hit a defender and scrum-half Casey Bromilow picked up and raced 80 metres to touch down. Luckily for Haven, ref Mr Dolan decided the visitors had knocked on and ruled out the try.

The hosts continued to press and four minutes later a Rudd kick was booted dead by the defence before McAvoy was again held up over the whitewash.

Later in the set the South Wales line was finally breached, a defender rushing out as Rudd took a pass. The playmaker avoided the hit and burst through for a try, then converted to get his side underway.

Chris Smith was unable to take the Scorpions’ tricky re-start kick as the visitors set up their first attack.

Andrew Gay wriggled out of a couple of tackles to score, Lewis Reece levelling matters with his conversion.

Scorpions continued to produce some bruising defence, though they could not stop Smith bursting from his half on a threatening run. That break did not lead to a try, but Haven did not have long to wait for another score, Spencer Miller taking Tyrone Dalton’s short pass at pace on his way to the line. Rudd booted the extras to make it 12-6.

South Wales ended the half on the front foot after winning a penalty as Haven’s Craig Benson cut loose from deep, down the touchline. Haven were penalised for interference, and when they then conceded another penalty following Lee Doran’s high shot on Bromilow, they were under the cosh.

But they dug deep to hold on, with debutant Phil Carleton held up over their line.

Haven opened the second-half on the attack, Sice’s short pass putting Spencer Miller in to a hole on the first set. And it did not take long for Haven to increase their lead, Sice reaching out over his head as he was tackled to plant the ball over the Scorpions’ line, Rudd converting.

But the visitors soon proved they were still in the game as Semisi Cocker powered over on 50 minutes.

Reece kicked the conversion and then added a penalty to reduce the deficit to four points.

South Wales never really looked like seizing the initiative, however, as Haven stepped up their performance and went on to boss the final 20 minutes. Their next chance came when Smith earned a penalty as he fell over a prone defender at the play-the-ball.

Rudd’s conversion attempt drifted wide but the visitors had to drop-out from under their posts, and at the end of the set, Hamzat helped bundle a defender back behind his line after collecting Rudd’s chip.

With Haven turning the screw, Doran offloaded close to the Wales line and the ball was moved out wide for Dexter Miller to score.

The hosts could have put the issue beyond doubt moments later, if they had capitalised on McAvoy’s classy break.

The big centre found Tyrone Dalton, who rather than go for glory fired an inside ball to Smith who was unable to gather at pace.

Smith made no mistake moments later when he darted over from dummy-half to score.

Rudd added the extras and was again on target after Hamzat used his electric acceleration to flash in at the corner.

It brought a perfect end to a great day. Haven had collected three points to maintain the pressure at the top of Championship One and had also raised a pretty penny for the real tough guys, our injured servicemen and women, through the Help for Heroes charity.

Match facts

Haven: Benson, Hamzat, Bauer, McAvoy, Calvert, Rudd, Dalton, Haggerty, C Smith, Hill, Doran, S Miller, Beattie. Subs: Sice, Isakka, Cullnean, D Miller.

Tries: Rudd, S Miller, Sice, D Miller, Smith, Hamzat

Goals: Rudd 5

Scorpions: Murphy, Reece, Roets, Bateman, Cunningham, Gay, Bromilow, Dallimore, Parry, Raftery, Lloyd, Clough, Greville. Subs: H Davies, C Davies, Carleton, Cocker.

Tries: Gay, Cocker

Goals: Reece 3

Attendance: 815

Half-time: 12-6

Referee: G Dolan

Star Man: Chris Smith

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