RUGBY: All Blacks slay the Giants to stay in top four

Gainsborough All Blacks
Gainsborough All Blacks

Gainsborough All Blacks kept their top four status in the league with a 20-17 win at Mansfield Woodhouse Giants on Saturday.

The Maltings sponsored side gave a good account of themselves in the away fixture, despite the hosts putting in a better display than when the teams met earlier in the season.

The All Blacks didn’t dominate the game as much as the reverse home fixture but they were never behind in a close fought and incident filled match.

Nathan Gardiner continued at scrum-half, Nathan Harmer Bates returned to the side to play outside centre and Adam Mathias came in at fly-half.

The ever versatile Daniel Dawson played inside centre and proved his worth with another outstanding performance and a fine try.

The only other try came from Jordan Tuplin, while Tom Parkinson landed conversions, penalties and a drop goal.

The first try scored was created by Dawson, and Tuplin touched down before Parkinson converted to take the lead.

The opposition hit back with a converted try to draw level, but the All Blacks scored again through Dawson.

Parkinson again converted.

In the second half Mansfield kept Gainsborough under pressure while James Taylor was in the sin bin and then the visitors lost Hymer Bates to injury.

Mansfield made the score 14-12, but a penalty and a massive drop goal from Tom Parkinson with five minutes to go stretched Gainsborough’s lead.

Following the kick-off the ball was dropped in midfield and Mansfield scored an unconverted try with the last play of the match.

Man of the match was Daniel Dawson.

On Saturday the All Blacks play Sileby who are above them in the league.

Gainsborough Maori travelled to Kesteven thirds and put in another good performance in defeat.

On the back of a 26-26 draw against local rivals Hykeham, Gainsborough fell victim to two early penalty kicks.

Kesteven used the little possession that they had in Gainsborough’s 22 to go and score two unconverted tries before the break.

Will Cawte ran in Gainsborough’s first score in the second half, but Kesteven came back with a try of their own .

Man of the Match Cawte scored his second try, converted by Sean Parker, but the hosts got two more tries of their own for a 35-12 win.