Sunday, 14 February 2016

Lacklustre French offer Haven little resistance

Carnegie Challenge Cup: Whitehaven 46 Lezignan 6: Haven overcame weak French resistance with ease last night to progress to the Carnegie Challenge Cup fifth round.

Craig Calvert photo
Craig Calvert storms away for the first try against Lezignan

Lezignan have been in outstanding form in their march to the top of the French domestic competition.

And they were impressive in their win at Sheffield in round three, but last night they were lacklustre, and Haven rarely had to hit top gear.

There were a handful of Haven highlights however, in the seven-try victory, notably sparkling 60m touchdowns from wingers Craig Calvert and Ade Adebisi – surely two of the best wide men outside Super League.

Young David Ford continued his great progress, and fellow prop Ryan McDonald was again formidable.

Calvert scored perhaps Haven’s classiest try of the campaign on eight minutes. A great Saia Makisi offload put him in space down the flank and he turned the full-back inside-out on the way to the try line. Carl Rudd added the first of his nine goals.

Haven’s appetite for work could not be faulted, and when Rudd’s superb kick dissected two defenders, Spencer Miller tackled full-back Aurelien Bourrel behind his try-line. The resulting drop-out sailed directly in to touch and Rudd slotted the penalty from in front of the sticks. A Marc Jackson offload then put big Karl Edmondson in for a short range try, only for a flare-up to start behind the posts, leading to a yellow card for Lezignan stand-off Aurelien Cologni.

Another high point came when evergreen forward Howard Hill stripped the ball deep in his own half and set off on a 50m sprint, rolling back the years to when he featured in the three-quarter line.

It was not all one-way traffic however, and Aussie prop Chris Beattie powered over on 24 minutes, after Haven were caught offside; Frederic Marcarou converting.

Ref Mr Hicks then put a potentially nasty incident on report after Haven skipper Gary Broadbent complained of having fingers pushed in to his eyes.

On the next tackle, Cologni was penalised for a high tackle on Makisi and Broadbent managed to spin over for a try. Another Rudd penalty goal, for holding down, put Haven a comfortable 22-6 up at the break.

Brute strength put McDonald over for an early second-half try, and Calvert then worked wonders to sprint from the opposing wing to deny speedster Gregory Mazard a score.

Miller was sin-binned for interference but it failed to check Haven’s momentum. Adebisi’s long-range try down the right wing matched Calvert’s earlier effort for skill and footwork, and Rudd put Derry Eilbeck and Calvert in for late scores.


Haven: Broadbent, Calvert, R Jackson, Makisi, Joe, Bainbridge, McDonald, Mattinson, M Jackson, Miller, Hill, Rudd. Subs: Sice, McAvoy, Edmondson, Ford

Tries: Calvert 2, Edmondson, Broadbent, McDonald, Adebisi, Eilbeck; Goals: Rudd 9

Lezignan: Bourrel, Mazard, Michalu, Bringuier, Marcerou, Cologni, Wynne, Beattie, Lacans, Rovira, Emmanuel, Romero, Brown. Subs: Espugna, Elotis, Assuguel, Laurent

Tries: Beattie;  Goals: Marcarou 1

Referee: R Hicks

Attendance: 1,250

Star Man: Craig Calvert



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