Rugby League: South Wales Scorpions 32 Gateshead Thunder 10
By Ian Golden at The Gnoll
Picture by Ian Lovell Photography
South Wales Scorpions gained their fourth win of the season in front of an enthusiastic crowd at The Gnoll as Gateshead Thunder’s losing run continued.
It was ninth versus tenth and it showed as there were a number of mistakes on each side. Scorpions had only managed a two-point win at Gateshead in their first league game of the season and they made hard work of this victory again this time around, despite the scoreline. Thunder are still without a league win this season.
One of the poor records had to break, and it was the home side who did enough to secure the win in the first half, and will have a morale boosting victory going into their final match of the season at already promoted Barrow Raiders in a fortnight.
Thunder almost scored in the second minute following a scrum. It was a fine passing move involving Jason Payne and Joe Brown but Josh Stoker dropped the ball at the crucial time with the line gaping.
And Scorpions also blew a chance following a knock-on, despite having back to back sets after two penalties.
It took 16 minutes for the first try and it came the way of the home side when Thomas Morgan made a clean break and scored underneath the sticks. Shaun Owens converted.
Steve Parry thought he’d scored Scorpions’ second when he leapt onto his own grubber but it was ruled that there was no downward pressure and the try was chalked off.
And at the other end, Payne’s try was disallowed after receiving a forward pass while Conor Condron dropped the ball when diving for the line.
Thunder were made to pay. Morgan’s second clean break gave him and Scorpions’ second try which Mossop converted to make him Scorpions’ joint top points scorer for the season.
And the Cumbrian born hooker then followed that up with a try in the corner which Owens failed to convert.
Thunder’s Shane Ackerley was sinbinned for a high tackle on 34 minutes and Scorpions didn’t waste the one-man advantage.
Morgan was denied a hat-trick, held up a few metres over the line but from the next play, Alan Pope forced his way over and Owens goaled.
There could have been a fifth try from kick-off but Ben Gilbert’s pass to David James was forward.
When they were back to 13 men, Gateshead were first on the board in the second half when Payne forced his way over from close range. Gavin Beasley converted.
Stephen Welton was just short of the line, denying Thunder a second but from the re-start, Scorpions worked their way upfield and Mossop scored a stunning second try running 30 metres to ground. Owens missed the kick.
Thunder struck back again through Jason Payne again but the conversion was missed.
But Owens cemented the victory with three minutes remaining with a 20-metre break to the line, converting his own try to ensure that the luckless Thunder went back to Tyneside without even a bonus point.