Furness 38 -
Despite the wet and windy weather it was a decent sized crowd that turned out to watch Furness take on Moresby in Cumbria League 2 yesterday. Furness took the pitch with a number of changes from the previous week with Peter Rimmer making his home debut alongside Russ Birch in the centre. Furness started the brighter of the two sides and it wasn't long before a break by number 8 Joe Mallinson saw full back Alex Brown backing up to go over in the corner for the home side's first try of the day. Adam Jackson's conversion made it Furness 7 Moresby 0.
Moresby pulled three points back with a penalty for a Furness offside, after which the game developed into Moresby kicking the ball long at pretty much every opportunity, a tactic that served them well and which Furness struggled with throughout the first half. The exasperated Furness crowd lost count of the number of times that Furness either dropped the ball, went the wrong way or responded to a Moresby kick by kicking the ball straight back to them. Two aspects of Furness's game that were going well however were the scrum and the lineout and it was from a five yard scrum just before half time that Furness's next points arrived when Mallinson bulldozed his way over for his first and the home side's second try of the afternoon. An excellent conversion by Jackson from wide out made it Furness 14 Moresby 3 as the half time whistle sounded.
Half time entertainment was provided by aging stand in scrum half Craig McQuistan doing his impression of an adult male emperor penguin regurgitating its fish haul for its starving young. For anyone who missed this you can find it on i Player in the natural history section.
The second half kicked off with Furness playing towards the clubhouse with the wind and rain behind them and a feeling that if they could iron out the unforced errors of the first half they could wrack up a pretty big score. Moresby hadn't read the script however and first points of the half went to them with an easy penalty pulling Furness's lead back to eight points. This appeared to kick start Furness and following yet another solid scrum, with the ball taken against the head, a Jackson kick through was followed up by Mallinson for his second try of the day. Barely five minutes later Furness captain Corne Els, sluggish from living on raw meat since New Years Day, forced his way over for Furness's fourth and bonus point try. The successful conversion took the score to Furness 26 Moresby 6.
A severe case of apathy, masquerading as a bad elbow, caused stand off Jackson to leave the field of play which caused a bit of a reshuffle with Mallinson moving to stand off and Hodor, taking time out from series 8 of Game of Thrones, coming on to bolster the pack. Despite dominating possession Furness couldn't quite get into top gear with the wrong option frequently being taken, however, despite this they increased their lead when a break by Els, followed by that rare thing, an accurate Els pass, allowed Rimmer to go over just wide of the posts. Mallinson was on kicking duties now and for reasons known only to him decided to take the conversion from almost the half way line. He missed! With Furness now well in the ascendant a rare passing move (rare in that no one dropped the ball) resulted in makeshift winger Jack Budgen stepping the defence and going in for the home side's sixth try of the day. With Mallinson relinquishing kicking duties it was left to the old regurgitator McQuistan to slot over the conversion. Thirteen minutes to go, with Furness on 38 points and every expectation that they could achieve the half century. Unfortunately that was not to be and having established a match winning lead they seemed content to sit on it. So much so that it was Moresby who scored the final points of the day with a converted try just before full time. Final score Furness 38 Moresby 13.
So a bonus point win to consolidate third place in the table with a week off before second placed Workington away on 26 January. Some good rugby was played yesterday and some not so good with plenty for the coaching staff to work on. So probably not the best team performance but some good individual contributions. The ever improving Dan Scott deservedly took man of the match honours for Furness.