Mansfield 26 v Casuals 52
By Lech Kluk
21st league win, 8 tries to 4, 19th bonus point. What a game
Nottingham Casuals 1st XV vs. Mansfield. 13th April 2019
Mansfield 26 Casuals 52
As the season takes its toll, and holidays intervene, Casuals had to again call on players from the 2nds, but the side did not disappoint, running in 8 tries.
Starting at 1, after only a handful of games this season, veteran Adam Connolly, making his propping debut off the bench, Anto Jeffrey, having played predominantly in the backs at 2nd team, Liam Tighe after injury, and Chris Atkinson brought in as sub.
In the front row, Amaury Montarnal moved from prop to hooker, and Joe Barton made a rare start at 2nd row.
Must not forget, A.H., rushing back from the ski slopes.
So wherever players have been, from Portugal to??, look forward to next week, the Notts final at Lady Bay, 2p.m. kick off, your club needs you.
Forced to come from behind after Mansfield opened the scoring with a converted try after 7 minutes, Casuals went over for 4 tries before half time, securing the 19th bonus point of the season.
The second half brought 4 tries to Mansfield’s 3.
After Mansfield’s opening foray, several minutes of pressure brought them a converted try, but it wasn’t long before Casuals responded. Casuals moved a penalty, and went to the left, where Kris Jakuba found a bit of space, and he sped past the opposition, to traverse the in goal for the touchdown giving Mark Higgins a fairly easy kick to convert. 7 – 7
Brodie Howatson’s break from deep in defence took Casuals back upfield, Mansfield conceded a penalty, which was kicked to touch by Higgins, in Casuals’ now customary manner.
15 minutes Casuals went from the maul, the ball was transferred to Joe Barton, who crashed through for Casuals’ 2nd . 7 -12
The next 2 scores came within moments of each other.
The first on 37 minutes came after Casuals won their put in at a scrum on Mansfield’s 10m line, Casuals recycled the ball from the loose, and James Wood found room in the centre to slice through and run in from 30 metres, touching down under the post, giving Higgins another easy kick for the conversion. 7 -19
That was followed by the 2nd touchdown from Kris Jakuba, set free down the left, he used his pace to leave the Mansfield defence for dead running in from 40 metres to up the score to 7 points to 24, giving Casuals the try bonus point.
The second half saw exchanges of tries.
Mansfield were the first to get in for a converted try, as they profited from stolen lineout ball, they went through the centres to register their 2nd converted try. 14 – 24
Casuals quickly responded. A simple interception by Brodie Howatson gave him an unchallenged run in from the 22, again the touch down under the posts, Higgins easily added the conversion. 14 -31
Another mistake saw a charge down by Casuals, and Howatson went through for his second of the afternoon, the conversion slotted by Higgins 14 – 38
Mansfield came back into it in the 17th minute getting in for their 3rd try of the game pulling the score back with an unconverted try, but no sooner than they had scored that, a poor kick out at the other end straight to a leaping Kieran Maisonnet, who needed no invitation to run straight back at the Mansfield defence, brushing aside some weak tackles to score wide out on the left. Higgins was left with a much more telling kick to convert, but he duly obliged to take the scoreline to 19 points to 47.
Casuals continued to pile on the pressure, although a few mistakes allowed Mansfield to hold out.
19 minutes A loose ball out of the back of scrum was followed up by Chris Brownlie. Mansfield failed to react quickly enough and the ball rolled over the try line for Brownlie to grab the 8th try for Casuals. Higgins again converted, rounding off Casuals scoring for the afternoon.
With time running down, and Casuals sitting on an unassailable lead, Mansfield took a scrum in front of Casuals’ posts, and they managed to force their way in for their 4th try, converted, and the try bonus point.
Bit of joy for them, but the outcome was beyond doubt.
Casuals 21st win out of 21 league outing, 19 bonus points which are hugely significant to their league standing.
103 league points, 23 points more than second placed Ashfield, points for 832, points against 224, points difference 608.
One league game to go against Bakewell.
It has already been a record season for Casuals all round, massive in the league.
What else can the 1sts conjure up to finish off.
1. Adam Connolly
2. Amaury Montarnal
3. alex hawkins
4. Kieran Maisonnet
5. Joe Barton
6. Jon Ackroyd
7. Chris Brownlie
8. Stu Williams (C)
9. Mark Higgins
10. Yann Moysey
11. Kris Jakuba
12. James Wood (VC)
13. Brodie Howatson
14. Liam Tighe
15. Dan O’Connor
16. Anto Jeffrey
17. Chris Atkinson