WALLSEND Eagles were hoping to do better than when they last played Peterlee Pumas in a pre-season friendly, but they were not helped by missing two key players and travelled for their North East Rugby League Under-12s game with only 14 players.
In previous games this season the Eagles normally make a storming start, but they struggled to gain possession and when they did have it they never got close to threatening the Pumas line.
It was no surprise when the Pumas scored the first try.
A brilliant last ditch tackle by Reece Lambert temporally stopped them but the score soon followed.
A quickly taken tap penalty by Wallsend’s Matty Smith allowed him to cross the line for a try which he followed up with a well taken conversion to bring the score to 10-6.
On the stroke of half-time the Pumas broke from a scrum to cross the line for a converted try to make the score 14-6.
The Eagles came out fired up for the second half and after some good possession, Lambert scorched down half the pitch past trailing defenders to score an excellent try which Smith converted.
The game at this stage could go either way when Lambert again broke through to score with Smith adding the conversion to put Eagles ahead at 14-16.
The Eagles were putting in some hard work, making some great tackles and fighting for every yard.
But injuries, fatigue and a lack of substitutes meant that the Pumas crossed the Eagles line four more times to make the final score 38-16.
With some more training sessions scheduled and a full squad available and fit, hopefully there will be a closer score line in the return fixture.