All Blacks return to action with victory
Gainsborough All Blacks Rugby Club were back in league action with a 30-28 victory at Meden Vale.
This was always going to be a tough fixture and with some key players unavailable the All Blacks squad was going to be tested.
Gainsborough travelled with a squad of 20 with for the league fixture, and this proved to be valuable with 19 of the 20 having to play.
The visitors won the toss and chose to play against the elements, with the sun the biggest problem.
Meden Vale’s big forwards were soon putting pressure on the Gainsborough side, winning some silly penalties to go 9-0 up.
Stung into action Gainsbrough hit back with a try from Dawson after a fine breake from Haymer-Bates, and this was converted by Parkinson.
Some pressure from the Gainsborough forwards saw them take a 10-9 half-time lead from a Parkinson penalty.
The second half saw Gainsborough take control off the game with a try from centre Chadwick, Parkinson added the extras.
Vale replied with a try in the corner leaving the score 17-14 to the All Blacks.
Gainsborough made two changes at this point with the inspirational Chadwick leaving the field through injury and Russell replacing Bradford in the from row.
Soon after this Gainsborough scored again through Haymer-Bates and Parkinson kept up his 100 per cent kicking record, converting from the corner and adding another Penalty.
Now leading 27-14 Gainbsborough seemed to take their foot to the gas and Meden Vale started to dominate.
This saw them score two converted tries to lead 28-27.
With just four minutes to go acting captain Turner-Guest led from the front and as the All Blacks forwards looked to get the side in a scoring position Meden Vales forward infringed at the break down. Parkinson stepped up and calmly slotted home the resulting penalty to put the visitors 30-28 in the lead.
With last play called from the resulting kick-off the Gainsborough forwards controlled the ball into touch for a well deserved away win.
This was a real club result with both Sandall and Morley stepping up from the Maoris side and Dawson and Chadwick showing great defence in the midfield.
Man off the Match went to Hymer-Bates.