Gainsborough Maoris defied ring rust and bounced back from a 95-0 defeat with victory in a 10-try thriller at home to Skegness on Saturday.
After nearly four weeks without a game, the Maoris took to their temporary home at Gainsborough Academy for the first time, and settled in nicely with a 66-17 win.
The result was all the more pleasing given their 95-0 loss to Mosborough back in early November.
The conditions were fine for this exhibition and Gainsborough welcomed debutants Martyn Snell and Steven Bull.
Gainsborough opened the scoring in the early exchanges as Ryan Bradford scored a try following a great run by Snell.
The successful conversion kick was taken by the youngster Oscar Rollings.
Gainsborough continued to turn up the heat early on and Oscar crossed the line for Gainsborough’s second try, which he also converted.
Debutant Bull added a third try, which was converted by Oscar.
With reduced numbers and with uncontested scrums both teams had elected to play with less forwards which meant that the game became very open.
A Skegness try reduced the deficit to 14 points.
The visitors gave the Maoris something to think about with another score, this time unconverted, making it 21-12.
Gainsborough veteran Wayne Sandall crossed the line to score and Oscar converted once again.
Oscar then gave Gainsborough spectators more to cheer about, breaching the defence with his second try.
Kieron Locking was looking sharp as ever he skipped oncoming challenges to sprint down the left wing to score his first try on his return with the Maoris.
Oscar lined up his kick and with pinpoint accuracy slotted it home.
Skegness started the second half well and were the first to score as they ran in their final points of the game.
Locking was still hunting for another try and with some persistence it finally paid off as he grabbed Gainsborough’s seventh try.
Although Oscar couldn’t add the extra points, it was enough to kill any chance of a fightback.
Gainsborough returnee Tom Bonner got in on the act with a score, before a rare moment as hooker Sam Bradford got onto the score sheet.
Oscar converted both tries.
To add to Skegness’ misery, Sam Bradford broke away and raced 20 metres to the posts for his second and Gainsborough’s final try of the match.
Oscar finished it off with the conversion to take his kick success to eight from 10 and to give a final result of 66-17 to the Gainsborough Maoris.