Old Brodleians are looking good to retain their Yorkshire One place after a thumping 53-14 win over struggling Pontefract yesterday.
They picked up a bonus-point win for the second successive Saturday to climb clear of the drop zone.
Brods didn’t quite pick up where they left off in the 33-18 Woodhead success over Heath, going 14 points down after only four minutes.
However, they showed confidence, determination and no little skill to run out wide-margin winners.
Ponty kicked off down the hill with a strong wind at their backs.
They quickly took the lead from a scrum against the head, their inside centre showing good pace to break the home defence and touch down between the posts. The goal was added.
Brods’ supporters were further shocked two minutes later when the home side tried to run the ball out of defence, only to concede an interception try which was converted.
Perhaps this was the kick start Brods needed. The forwards, having gained possession for the first time, produced an impressive 30 metre drive up the middle of the field. A Wood penalty pulled back three points.
The home pack continued to dominate heavier opponents. Wood kicked a penalty to the corner and the forwards drove to the line. Liam Scott broke from the back of the maul and although held up, he slipped the ball to No 8 Rob Jennings, who plunged over. Wood’s conversion made it 10-14 after 14 minutes.
Jennings picked up from the base of a scrum deep in his own half and broke several tackles. Support from Michael Briggs and James Brown took play back into the visitors’ half. Pontefract conceded a penalty and the in-form Wood narrowed the gap to one point.
The momentum was with the home side. The forwards employed the pick-and-go to make ground swiftly up the middle. Briggs broke and the ever-willing Stirling Ross stretched over the line.
Brods’ ever-improving scrum and excellent line out, with Bob Sykes winning a steady stream of ball, meant that the home side could use their driving maul to dominate play.
In the second half Wood kicked well for position and from another lineout and drive hooker James Ogden emerged from beneath a pile of bodies with the ball to claim Brods’ third try. Wood converted to make it 25-14 after 42 minutes.
The home backs started to move the ball well. Matty Hoyle’s influence from full back was growing and he returned a clearance from the visitors and fed young winger Gaughan, who showed real pace on the left and then determination to cross the line and bank the four-try bonus point.
Gaughan’s kick and excellent chase led to a scrum and Aussie Ross claimed the next five points with his brute strength.
Brods turned on the style in the final quarter with some superb inter-play instigated by Phil Town.
Jennings fed Hoyle, who finished superbly, and Wood’s touchline conversion made it 46-14.
The final coup de grace came from Hoyle, after combining with Gaughan down the left, and Wood landed another goal from wide out.