George comes home - the best local rugby

Mike Jones breaking through the Hawcoat line.
Mike Jones breaking through the Hawcoat line.
©Jeff Gordon

Tarleton were up against Hawcoat park at Carr Lane on Saturday and after a heavy defeat away to Wigton last week they knew that a win was absolutely necessary if they weren’t to fall to mid-table.

It was Hawcoat Park who started the better and for the first 10 minutes Tarleton couldn’t get control of the ball and when they did get something they gave the ball away. As frustrating as this was for both the players and the crowd Tarletons’ defensive game was first class and Hawcoat couldn’t cross the whitewash.

On 20 minutes a good break by the returned George Skofic saw him through the Hawcoat line and a well-timed pass to Frazer Grieves saw him over the line in the corner to open the score.

This try seemed to settle Tarleton and they continued the half playing some great attacking rugby. Five minutes later a good run by Jack Skofic and some good inter-play with Hugo Castle saw the Hawcoat defenders chasing thin air and a great line by Frazer Grieves saw him receive the ball in space and he charged through to score under the posts, he added the conversion and Tarleton were up 12-0.

Tarleton piled on the pressure and another good attack was finished off by Frankie Skofic who crossed the line after charging through three Hawcoat defenders. (17-0)

The next try came from another good break by Mike Jones who sold an outrageous dummy to his opposite number and broke through the gain line and threw the ball wide to Aidan Miller who took 2 defenders over the line with him to score another well-structured try, he added the extras and Tarleton now led by 24-0.

Hawcoat Park came back at Tarleton but messed up an attacking line out, from the scrum Tarleton got the ball out along the line quickly and George Skofic skipped through the Hawcoat defence to score his second try of the afternoon, this was converted by Aidan Miller and Tarleton were coasting at 31-0.

Hawcoat hadn’t stopped trying though and from another attack involving at least 8 phases they broke through the Tarleton defense to score a converted try. This was the last play of the half and at the change Tarleton led 31-7.

Hawcoat park started the half the better of the two teams but Tarleton settled down to their game plan after 10 minutes and as Hawcoat pressed a Tarleton foot hacked the ball on and despite giving 2 Hawcoat defenders a 5 yard start Frankie Skofic outpaced them to kick the ball through and score a good opportunist try, Aiden Miller converted and a 38-7 lead ensued.

From the re-start a great piece of inter-play between Jack and Frankie Skofic saw them bamboozle the Hawcoat defenders and Frankie crashed over for his hat-trick, Aiden Miller again converted and 45-7 was now the score.

Hawcoat attacked again and a high attacking kick was collected by Will Fell who made good yards before passing to Hugo Castle who at first looked as though he had white line fever and was going to go for the glory but Mike Jones was outside him and his calling was eventually heard and the ball was slipped to him just before Hugo disappeared under a pile of bodies and Mike Jones slid in to score. (50-7)

Hawcoat came again and a penalty in Tarletons’ 22 was advanced by 10 yards due to backchat and despite coming close hawcoat again lost the ball at a crucial moment and the ball was hacked out, chased down and collected by George Skofic who ran in just out of reach of the Hawcoat defender to score tarletons; ninth and his third try of the afternoon. (57-7)

Tarleton pressed again from the re-start and almost made the line but Hawcoat held them a yard short on three occasions until Tom Eckersley picked up at the back and he crashed through to score another good try. (62-7).

Tarleton weren’t finished yet and following an attacking line out the ball was passed along the back line and despite having a bit of a juggle with a greasy ball Jack Claveley managed to keep hold of it and scored in the corner, the last score of the match was another good conversion from out wide by Aidan Miller which left the final score at 69-7.

This was a good team display with the only concern being the lineout that didn’t function as well as it usually does and the time it took at the start of both halves for Tarleton to get going. When they did they played flowing fifteen man rugby that brought the result and moves them up to within 5 points of the promotion spot.

Tarleton are on the road again next week when they travel to Bolton and attempt to maintain their push for a top 4 finish.

The seconds had a narrow 10-9 defeat away at Penrith and hope to get back to winning ways with a home fixture which is also against Bolton RUFC.

Tarleton Third XV picked up another win at home by 34-12 against Port Sunlight 2nd Team and they travel to Prenton next week and will need to have a full squad if they wish to do better than when they faced them at Carr lane in September.

The 3rd Team are in their first year and are always on the lookout for more players, if you fancy a run out please contact the club.