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Thursday, 31 July 2014

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Sice is Haven’s hat-trick hero in 11-try demolition of Gateshead

GATESHEAD travelled to the Recre without a league win in 15 outings, and after the superb Carl Sice scored the first of his three tries on 15 minutes, they never looked like breaking their duck.

Haven showed plenty of patience and after an initial flourish from Gateshead, went on to dominate the match.

Coach David Seeds drafted in Derry Eilbeck, Bradd Crellin, Martyn Wilson and Richard Farrer, and also made a couple of positional changes, Lee Doran moving up to prop and hooker Chris Smith joining Lewis Palfrey in the halves.

The new half-back combination lasted less than three minutes as Palfrey suffered a nasty elbow injury, to be replaced by Carl Rudd, who went on to boot 10 conversions from 11 attempts.

Doran, one of Haven’s best this term, fitted in well up front, especially in the second-half, while Sice was almost unplayable in the later stages.

Thunder hit the front on eight minutes, Paul Stamp lofting a kick over Craig Calvert’s head for winger Danny Wilson to finish.

Sice went on to level, evading a couple of challenges on an angled run to the line, Rudd’s kick putting Haven in front.

Gateshead still had their moments, Doran twice losing possession and then giving away a penalty before the visitors forced a drop-out.

Stamp kicked behind Haven and Wilson looked certain to score his second, before Calvert got back to force an error a yard from the line.

Sice was working hard, and it was his charge-down of Conor Condron’s clearing kick that handed Haven their next chance. Chris Smith crossed Gateshead’s whitewash only to be pulled back for interference in back-play.

The Cumbrians made no mistake on 28 minutes, Paul Cullnean crossing between the sticks.

The game suddenly started to open up, and Haven produced a fine flowing move from deep, with Sice, Crellin, Eilbeck and Hamzat all involved.

Moments later, Smith found Cullnean in space and he touched down for a second time.

The game’s best try came on the next set, down Haven’s dangerous left edge.

Scott McAvoy cut loose from his own half and then found Calvert on his inside, who evaded the pacey Wilson’s attempted cover tackle to score, Haven ending the half 24-4 up.

The first-half had been satisfactory for the home side, the second was much better, with Rudd increasingly to the fore.

His short pass put Farrer in to space for a break, and later in the set, Doran fired out a pass for Calvert’s second try.

On the next set, Haven scored again, Sice touching down, again after neat approach work from Rudd.

The one-way traffic was temporarily halted on the hour-mark, Jason Payne going over from short range.

But normal service resumed three minutes later, Derry Eilbeck storming in after breaking from his own half.

Smith then combined with Sice to send the hooker over for his third try and Doran’s short pass to Matthew Haggerty saw the prop power over for another score.

Loz Hamzat was starting to make inroads, and he got his name on the scoresheet on 64 minutes, following good approach work from Doran and Sice.

Sice was again the provider two minutes from time as he put Wilson in for his first senior try for the club.

Haven know it will be much tougher in their next game, at Doncaster on Sunday week, but after last week’s heavy loss at Swinton, this outing was a great way to restore confidence in the ranks.

Match facts

Haven: Benson, Hamzat, Eilbeck, McAvoy, Calvert, C Smith, Palfrey, Haggerty, Sice, Doran, Wilson, S Miller, Beattie. Subs: Rudd, Cullnean, Farrer, Crellin.

Tries: Sice 3, Cullnean 2, Calvert 2, Eilbeck, Haggerty, Hamzat, Wilson. Goals: Rudd 10

Thunder: Peers, Wilson, Stevens, Brown, Condron, Stamp, Payne, Bate, Welton, Kelly, Cash, Harding. Subs: Clarke, Parker, Aderiye, Stoker.

Tries: Wilson, Payne Goals: Stamp 1

Referee: Warren Turley

Attendance: 651

Star Man: Carl Sice

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