Ash Bateman takes the ball into the defence

Ironmen 10 – 27 Whitehaven


By Ian Golden at The Wern for Rugby Leaguer and League Express –


A resilient South Wales Ironmen side gave Whitehaven a scare but in the end, the Cumbrians had enough in the tank to secure a win in the first league game of the season.


Whitehaven took just 70 seconds to take the lead after winning a scrum on the half-way line, Steven Roper being given too much space to run the ball home and Paul Crook converting.


Roper combined with Crook for their second try of the game, which came on 24 minutes, one half-back opening up a gap for the other, with Crook making a clean break for the final 25 metres before converting himself.


The try came after a period of unsustainability for both sides as handling errors had ruled the game for 20 minutes before that. The 4G pitch ensured that the game was on, there was constant rain for an hour or two pre-game, but the wet surface hadn’t helped the players’ ball-handling skills, there were 17 scrums in the first half alone, 10 of which were awarded to Haven.


Ironmen had their chances to score before the interval, Connor Farrer was close, getting stopped centimetres from the line just after the half hour.


The away side were 12-0 up at the break and they quickly made it 24-0 after just eight second half minutes.


First, Glenn Riley scrambled over the line and Crook added the extras, before Elliot Miller burst through the defence on the 40 metre line, setting up Jordan Burns for an impressive try that was well-converted by Crook.


Morgan Evans on the attack
Morgan Evans on the attack

Ironmen finally got on the scoresheet after Morgan Evans, on his first game back for the club after two seasons away, freed himself from the clutches of two Haven men to dart for the line. Paul Emanuelli added the extras.


It was all South Wales deserved as they’d begun to dominate proceedings, and this before anyone had been sent to the bin. Emanuelli had almost set up another try save for a good pick-up from James Newton.


Following Elliot Miller’s sinbinning for tripping, Ironmen immediately took advantage. Andy Gay was stopped short of the line before Yannic Parker went over in the corner. Emanuelli’s conversion attempt slipped wide.


Lewis Brown was next in the bin, but not before referee Greg Dolan had sinbinned the wrong person. James Tilley was understandably aggrieved to have seen yellow and following heated discussions with touch-judge James Jones, the error was corrected.

Zak Williams loos for the option
Zak Williams loos for the option


Ironmen pressed for another try and it was due to some more solid Haven defending that they didn’t score again. Jordan Burns’ try saving tackle on

his opposite number Parker was a potential match-winner.


Playing 11 v 13, Haven knew they just needed to play possession football to cling on to the game and they took late chances where it mattered to calm things down and cement the win. Crook kicked a penalty when given the right opportunity in front of goal then added a field goal for good measure to complete matters.



6 Andy Gay

2 Yannic Parker

12 Lewis Reece

4 Christiaan Roets

3 Paul Edwards

15 Shaun Owens

5 Paul Emanuelli

19 Jamie I’Anson

14 Kristian Baller

18 Morgan Evans

24 Connor Parker

17 Zak Williams

16 Ashley Bateman

Subs (all used):

8 Chris Davies

9 Connor Farrer

11 Richard Jones

13 Chris Vitalini


Tries: Evans (60), Y Parker (65)

Goals: Emanuelli 1/2



1 Elliot Miller

5 Jordan Burns

13 David Thompson

4 Chris Taylor

26 Shane Pattinson

6 Steven Roper

7 Paul Crook

8 Marc Shackley

9 James Newton

17 Tom Holland

16 Connor Holliday

12 Scott McAvoy

10 Carl Forster


14 James Tilley

18 Tyrone Dalton

19 Glenn Riley

24 Lewis Brown


Tries: Roper (2), Crook (24), Riley (45), Burns (48)

Goals: Crook 5/5

Drop Goal: Crook

Sin-bin: Miller (64, tripping), Brown (67, high tackle)


Referee: Greg Dolan

Half-time: 0-12

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