Mansfield’s slippery slope continues after Newark loss

Mansfield RUFC tasted defeat for the third week in a row after they were beaten 38-10 by their bitter local rivals Newark.

The match had been highly anticipated with Newark arriving at Eakring Road for the first time in many years.

Mansfield were looking to bounce back from last week’s disappointing 29-8 loss at Matlock.

From the kick off it was the yellow shirts of Mansfield who went on the attack lead by skipper Phil Donaldson, who turned in another impressive display.

And on two mins the pressure told with the visitors giving away a penalty. Jonno Williams kick fell short, but straight away Mansfield were back on the attack and Newark sinned again.

This time Williams planted his kick in the right hand corner for a line out. A textbook catch and drive resulted with Liam Grant scoring the games first try on three mins. Williams converting this time.

There followed 10 mins that saw Newark come into the game and it became a test of both defenses.

Newark pressed Mansfield who stood up to the test, before turning the pressure back on to the visitors once more.

Jordan Cleaver was a constant threat out wide and Ant Hawson was brave in defence at Centre.

The visitors started to turn the screw again and were rewarded on 15 mins with a try out wide on the left, which they failed to convert.

As the game went on, the attacking and tackling display of scrum half Adam Shaw showed why he is fast becoming a tallis man for this young Mansfield side.

The set pieces of both sides were functioning well and in the open there was plenty of open rugby played by both sides, but the intensity of previous Mansfield v Newark encounters was missing.

On 20 mins Mansfield burst into attack mode and made good ground driving into the Newark 22.

It looked a real try scoring threat until a poor pass let the visitors off the hook. The home side kept the pressure on and were awarded a penalty on 25, which again didn’t have the distance.

A minute later Williams made sure with the kick as Newark kicked a penalty to make it 10 - 8 and set up an interesting second half.

Newark scored a converted try almost immediately in the second half as they came out of the blocks flying.

The game became a little scrappy with the home side warned about giving too many penalties away.

On 45 mins Joe Symcox was unlucky to be the first Mansfield player to end up on the naughty step this season after taking one for the team for handling on the floor.

There followed two Newark yellow cards on 55 and 70 mins, but it was Joe Symcox who got a second yellow and ultimately a red on 60 mins.

Although the offence was more clumsy than nasty referee Mr Sinclair had no choice to send Symcox off.

Newark were spurred on by events and, as Mansfield attacked, in their 22, the visitors broke out the ball moving through many hands the hooker.

Ian Tomlinson was involved on several occasions and he was there to finish off a fine move under the posts, which was easily converted on 72 mins.

Two mins later a visitors attack caught Mansfield napping and try three was added to their woes and easily converted.

At the very end of the game Newark extended the lead again with another converted try to complete a comfortable victory.