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NORTHUMBRIA SHOW HART

Posted by Oscar Maung Haley

NORTHUMBRIA SHOW HART

A scintillating performance from debutant full back Josh Hodge guided Team Northumbria M1 Rugby Union to an incredible try bonus point win against Hartpury under the Friday night lights of Kingston Park.

In what was a fantastic advert for the university game, TN got the game off to the perfect start, roaring out to a 10-point lead over the defending BUCS Super Rugby champions.

The champions however were not to be deterred and managed to fight their way back into the contest, with Team Northumbria leading at 24-14 heading into half time.

But despite their fight back and dominance from set piece, the visitors from Gloucestershire could not stop Team Northumbria’s back line from firing on all cylinders in the second half with George Wacokecoke and Oli Smith both dotting down to secure a famous 38-35 victory.

And speaking after the game, head of rugby Darren Fearn could hardly contain his delight at the result.

“I’m absolutely chuffed,” said the elated Fearn.

“We’ve set a real standard now.

“To go out in your first two games and get 10 points from 10 is special.

“But to travel all the way to Bath and then to beat Hartpury in this fashion makes it even sweeter.

“We spoke about how the backs were a little disjointed last week against Bath.

“I was really impressed with them here because they were so clinical.

“That’s a credit to them and the coaching staff for working so hard all week to correct it.”

After his side faced off against Bath in round one of this seasons BUCS Super Rugby campaign, Fearn issued a rallying cry to his squad with regards to taking their opportunities.

And Fearn admitted he was ecstatic with the way his squad had responded.

“These last two weeks have been a real eye opener for me,” said Fearn.

“A lot of lads have held their hands up for selection.

“I thought Josh Hodge was absolutely fantastic.

“His goal kicking and all-around performance was phenomenal, especially when you factor in that it was his debut.

“Like I said after the Bath game, both Oli Smith and Josh Rudling have really improved.

“They’ve both kicked on from last season and that’s shown through the first two weeks with Josh scoring against Bath and Oli bagging himself two tries against Hartpury.”

Next up for TN is a clash against BUCS Super Rugby heavyweights Exeter.

And when asked what the challenge was now for his side, Fearn responded in a boisterous manner.

“The challenge for us now?,” said Fearn.

“Go to Exeter and win.”

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