WALLSEND Eagles undertook their longest trip of the season to Catterick to play new team North Yorkshire Broncos.
Eagles went into the game with a number of key players out injured or still not registered and new player Sol Keeney making his debut.
Sportingly it was decided to play nine-a-side as that was all the players the Broncos had.
Within a minute of play Tom Wood broke free to cross under the posts to score the game’s first try, with Matty Smith adding the conversion.
But the Broncos replied with an unconverted try.
The kick-off then bounced out of play giving the visitors the put in from the scrum and the ball went to Wood who again charged through the home defence to score.
It was all Eagles and a good run from Asa Jamieson led to Wood completing his hat-trick, which was converted by Smith.
But again Broncos replied with a try and conversion.
A huge kick upfield by Smith led to him gathering the loose ball and grounding it in the corner.
The second half started with some good passing allowing Danny Atkinson to dive over, but unluckily the ball was knocked from his hands as he crossed the line.
Broncos then scored two breakaway tries to make the score 22-20 and giving the home team the lead.
A charge from prop Ben Mahdoul straight through the home defence handing off numerous players trying to tackle him put the Eagles in a great position to off loaded to Smith to score right under the posts.
Then it all went wrong in a ten-minute period as the Eagles switched off allowing the Broncos to score four successive tries making the score 44-26 with ten minutes left.
The tiring Eagles raised their game – Ben Marshall ripping the ball from the opposition to pass to Mark Barry to score.
With his ripped shirt hanging off his back, Wood made one last effort and managed to score under the posts.
But it was not enough as time ran out on the Eagles.
The big pitch and nine-a-side was always going to make it a high scoring game and it certainly proved to be a entertaining one.
Hopefully some keys players back from injury and a couple of new players registered will strengthen the Eagles.
Man of the match was Ben Mahdoul.