Match Reports

Saturday 3rd February

Whitehaven 25  Furness 10

It was a dull day as the Furness bus set off for what was potentially going to be a season defining game for both sides. Or not as the case may be if the Lancashire club's get their own way. After being delayed in traffic in Whitehaven town centre (hard to believe but true) Furness arrived with about 45 minutes to spare. The game kicked off in cold but fine conditions on what looked like a heavy and cut up playing surface. From the kick off it was all Whitehaven with their very large number 5 prominent. Furness however were defending like their lives depended on it, none more so than Cam McLure and James Tyson.

A penalty for offside after 5 minutes gave the home side the opportunity to get some points on the board but an unconvincing effort by their kicker was way wide of the mark. It was shortly after this that Furness captain Corne Els had to leave the field of play with a nasty looking knee injury, unfortunately not to return. The game continued much as it had started with Whitehaven attacking and Furness resolutely defending. Furness had their moments but too often kicked away valuable possession. With half time just over 10 minutes away, the Furness defensive wall was eventually breached when the Whitehaven winger went over in the clubhouse corner. The missed conversion made it Whitehaven 5 Furness 0. A few minutes later Whitehaven scored their second try of the day. Again the conversion was missed. Furness attacked from the restart and following an interception by Rhys Humphreys really should have scored and indeed probably would had the half time whistle not been blown with what seemed like untimely haste.

Light drizzle greeted the start of the second half. A dropped Whitehaven pass in midfield allowed Furness back rower Rhys Studt to chip ahead, showing masterful control on the ball, to evade the home defence and touch down under the sticks. Dutton's conversion made it Whitehaven 10 Furness 7. Ten minutes later Furness levelled the scores when Dutton put over an excellent penalty from 35 metres into the wind. Whitehaven got their noses in front a few minutes later with a penalty in front of the sticks which even their errant kicker couldn't miss.

By now the Furness defensive effort was beginning to tell and there were some tired looking legs so it was  no surprise when Whitehaven went over for their third try.  Whitehaven 18 Furness 10 with 15 minutes to play. Despite digging deep into their reserves Furness didn't quite have enough in the tank to make any impression on the scoreboard and it was Whitehaven who had the final word with their fourth and bonus point try of the day. Whitehaven 25 Furness 10. A good effort by Furness against a team who'd been scoring points for fun against other teams in the league. The Furness scrum went pretty well throughout but the lineout needs some work - ideally on the training ground rather than off the cuff on a Saturday afternoon. Defensively Furness could not be faulted however. Studt took the man of the match honours but it could have been any of the team. The journey back to Barrow was uneventful although yet again the players failed to tip the driver!