Backs shine for Greens as Ionians pack are praised

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WHARFEDALE scored 26 unanswered points in the second half to win 43-13 at Blaydon.

All the promise shown in the opening games came to fruition for the Greens.

Dan Tai crossed twice and Cameron Hudson once and Jamie Guy converted once in the first half.

In reply Thomas Gulland crossed and Andrew Baggett converted as well as kicking two penalties.

Wharfedale’s backs cut loose in the second half and added four more tries.

Man of the match Hudson opened the half with two more tries which Guy converted as the bonus point was secured.

Maxime Labasse finished an excellent running move before James Doherty scored Dale’s seventh try. Jamie Guy rounded off the scoring from the tee.

Leading 25-0 with 25 minutes left, Hull Ionians survived a late onslaught by rivals Plymouth Albion to win 25-21 at Brantingham Park.

The Yorkshire side’s pack again looked impressive, and played a key role in continuing their strong start to the season.

After Ionians had survived a strong start from Albion, centre Luke Thundercliffe touched down following a strong drive. Although the conversion was missed, scrum-half Isaac Green added penalties on 22 and 37 minutes to help put the home side 11-0 ahead at the interval.

The hosts made a strong start to the second half, and pressure led to two penalty tries being awarded against Plymouth in the first 10 minutes which put Ionians 25-0 ahead, Green having converted both on 46 and 54 minutes.

A raft of substitutions saw Ionians lose momentum and Plymouth began to fight back.

Billy Searle raced in and converted his try and that of flanker Jarrad Hayler’s before scrum-half Matt Shepherd secured a losing bonus point with a stoppage-time converted try.

“It was a great performance,” said Ionians player-coach Phil Eggleshaw. “We have beaten another team deemed to be stronger than us. Our pack have now dominated the opposition in every game so far and they have been brilliantly supported by the back line.”