Tynedale 24 Fylde RFC 48: Fylde run in seven tries on their return to action
Fylde opened their 2021-22 season with a convincing victory over Tynedale at Tynedale Park.
If the drinkers at the packed Tynedale Beer Festival adjacent to the pitch looked up from their pints – and many did – they would have been impressed by the flowing rugby of the visitors, who scored seven excellent tries against three from Tynedale.
All the tries were scored by their backs – Tom Grimes (2), Scott Jordan (2), Tom Carleton, Scott Rawlings and Greg Smith – and they picked up a bonus point in consequence.
There were certainly a few rough corners to Fylde’s display which, given the 530 or so days since their last National Two North game, might have been expected.
Overall, new joint-head coaches Chris Briers and Alex Loney were very pleased by the performance at a venue that has been a far from happy hunting ground for the Lancastrians over the years.
Seven of Fylde’s 20-man squad were making their debuts and it took their side a minute to open the scoring.
Flanker Phill Mills made the crucial break and an accurate pass gave Grimes enough space to score in the corner.
Smith converted for a 7-0 lead that, as it happened, they never relinquished.
Tynedale came into the game in the ninth minute when a Fylde defender was caught offside and Ross Cooke slotted the resultant penalty.
Fylde’s scrummage was holding up well to the efforts of a bigger, bulkier, pack of home forwards and, in the 13th minute, good quality scrummage ball was shipped smartly along the backs.
Enough space was created for debutant Jordan to score in the corner, though Smith was unable to add the extras from the touchline.
The Fylde backs were looking especially penetrative and, in the 18th minute, Carleton got in on the act when he burst through to score under the posts with Smith making it 19-3.
However, Fylde took their collective foot off the gas for a period and their discipline faltered.
Prop Matt Ashcroft was shown a yellow card for an offence and Tynedale won a few penalties, which temporarily stalled the visitors’ advance.
Fylde picked up their pace again with another fluent move and a clever switch resulting in Rawlings exploiting an overlap and scoring in the right corner.
Smith converted and Fylde were stretching away at 26-3.
Tynedale picked up the pace and intensity of their game and Will Miller scored his side’s first try on the half-hour.
It was converted by fullback Cooke, reducing the deficit to 26-10, which was how it stayed until the half-time interval.
It had been an entertaining 40 minutes but, if Fylde wanted to make it easier for themselves, then they would have to reduce the number of penalties being conceded.
Three minutes into the second half, another powerful break downfield by Mills almost led to a try for Jordan.
From the resultant penalty, conceded by Tynedale, Smith’s kick was on target to make the score 29-10.
A technical offence saw Fylde’s David Fairbrother sinbinned but they defended well and pushed the home side back up the field.
The relief was temporary, however, as Tynedale exploited their extra numbers and Chris Wearmouth drove over the line to score.
The normal pattern of the game was restored in the 58th minute through great running play.
Excellent support from multiple backs resulted in Jordan notching his second try in the right corner as Fylde led 34-17.
In the 69th minute, Smith showed there is more to his game than goalkicking as he cantered over the line for a try, which he converted to make it 41-17.
To their great credit, Tynedale’s heads didn’t drop and they came back again to score their third try through fly-half Matty Outson.
Fittingly, the last act of an entertaining match was another splendid running try by Fylde, finished off by Grimes, with Smith converting to end with a match haul of 18 points.
From the first minute to the last, Fylde were in front and never really looked in danger.
Their attacking play was outstanding but another three or four opportunities for tries weren’t taken.
They will have to sharpen up in one or two areas before facing Loughborough Students at the Woodlands on Saturday (3pm).
However, considering the continuing improvement week on week, there’s little doubt that the young squad will follow the wise guidance of their coaches.
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