Defence the key to Blaydon's resurgence believes Micky Ward

Micky Ward's men building on solid foundations as National One winning streak extends to five

Blaydon v Henley: Thomas Grimes bursts through the Henley defence
Blaydon v Henley: Thomas Grimes bursts through the Henley defence

Blaydon director of rugby Micky Ward credited his side’s heroic defence as they brought Henley Hawks crashing down to earth in a 39-5 hammering.

Henley had beaten runaway leaders Doncaster last weekend in a scoreline which sent shock waves around National One but, despite enjoying the lion’s share of territory and possession, they were on the end of a six-tries-to-one scoreline.

“From an attacking point of view we did not have as much ball as we would have liked, but out recent improved performances have been built around defence,” said Ward, whose side took an early lead through scrum-half Andy Davies’ try down the left from a quick-tap penalty.

“We knew if we got that spot-on our attack would come off the back of it, and Henley couldn’t live with what we were doing in terms of defensive organisation and tackling.

“That forced them into mistakes and put us into good positions.”

Hooker Fran Entressengle was driven over for the second after a penalty was kicked into touch, the hosts extending their half-time lead to 19-0 thanks to Tom Jeffrey’s interception and 60-metre race to the line. Captain Chris Wearmouth wrapped up the bonus point with a try two minutes into the second half.

The lock-forward said: “Henley really took it to us in the first five minutes, but we fronted up and got on top.

“We had to dig deep and the togetherness of the side really showed.

“Having had a good win in London last week this could have been a real banana skin for us, but we prepared thoroughly and did a good job.”

Tries from prop Robbie Kalbraier and wing Sean Brown completed Blaydon’s scoring, leaders Doncaster next up for a side boasting five wins in succession. Tynedale felt the full wrath of the full-timeYorkshire outfit on Saturday, beaten 55-3 at Castle Park as their relegation struggle continues, while in National Two North Darlington Mowden Park power on.

Their 51-3 demolition of Sheffield Tigers saw them narrow the gap to second-placed Stourbridge to just a point, running in nine tries in the process.

Westoe returned to winning ways in National Three North with a 41-10 triumph over Billingham, Mark Wilson and Chris Clark both dotting down twice.

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