Rasen heeded the lessons from last week and started this game at a high tempo as flanker Jake Pryer collecting the Rasen kick to attack.
Newark were forced to concede penalties to stem the early red and green tide and with only four minutes gone lock Freddie Tatham was yellow carded to reduce the visitors to 14 men.
Rasen kept up the pressure and two minutes later the ball was spread wide for winger Peter Everton to glide past the defence to open the scoring. Fullback Dan Robinson took on the kicking duties and opened his account with a superbly struck conversion.
Newark made a positive response and despite their numerical deficiency, it was the visitors who dominated possession and narrowed the scoreline with a penalty from flyhalf James Offer.
Rasen repelled everything that Newark were throwing at them before scrumhalf Chris Everton’s clearance kick from the shadow of his own try line remained tantalisingly in play. Winger Nick Harvey was alert to the situation and followed up to grab the bouncing ball with daylight the only obstacle en-route to the try line.
However Harvey opted to veer inwards towards the covering defender and as the tackle came in off-loaded to the supporting Everton, who galloped in under the posts to emulate his brother. Robinson added the conversion.
But the stunned Newark side were by no means out of this contest and continued to attack the red and greens, albeit that there was an air of anxiousness in their play and this combined with aggressive Rasen in your face defending resulted in many a spilled pass.
Newark received a boost when Rasen centre George Eddell was yellow carded for playing the ball on the ground in a ruck, but resolute defending kept the visitors at bay.
With the half drawing to a close, further Rasen pressure produced another Newark fumble. The superior numbers in the home side’s contingent gathered the ball to use the simple draw and pass technique until Newark ran out of defenders and centre Adam Beasley cantered in under the posts to leave Robinson with a simple conversion to give Rasen a healthy half time lead of 21–3.
Rasen began the second half strongly, but three knock-ons in quick succession ensured that Newark’s line remained intact. Having weathered this early onslaught Newark went on the attack, but another dropped pass provided the prelude to the Pryer-Harvey show.
With the ball back in Rasen hands Harvey gathered a chip over and found the tireless Pryer in support. The two Rasen men worked their way down the touchline exchanging passes to each other to beat defender after defender until Pryer crossed the line and triumphantly headed under the posts. Robinson slotted the kick and four minutes later was lining up a more difficult conversion.
Rasen’s backline had functioned admirably all afternoon and slick handing put Beasley in at the corner for his second try of the match. #
At 33–3 and entering the last quarter, the game was beyond Newark, but to their credit they continued to battle away. Another yellow card for Rasen, as Chris Everton was adjudged to have tackled his opposite number without the ball, gave Newark further impetus and after several phases of play it was their scrumhalf Matt Clark who sniped down the blindside for the visitors first try of the afternoon.
Further Rasen indiscipline cost them another player as number eight Leigh Dearden was sin binned shortly after the red and greens had returned to full strength. Newark ramped up the pressure and a neat inside pass from Clark set up number eight James Price on a rampage for the line. Offer added the conversion to give Newark some further consolation for their stirring finish, but Rasen had dominated the game for too long to be denied a well deserved victory.
Despite the changes to the starting line up, Rasen managed to rekindle a spirit and urgency that had been sadly lacking in significant parts of last week’s game at Matlock. This week Rasen hunted the ball down and arrived in numbers to swamp Newark on occasions. The backs handling was good and Rasen now have a backline to compliment the forwards who have had a formidable reputation for some time.
However three yellow cards in a game isn’t so good and could prove costly in a closer game. A win over Newark is always something to savour, but leap frogging over them in the league table into fifth place made the victory even sweeter.
This week Rasen travel to Old Northamptonians, whose defeat this week leaves them only one point above the red and greens. Another win there and Rasen will continue to leap frog up the table.
Rasen: Nicholls, Ashton, Pytlik, Carson, Inman, Pryer, Starling D, Dearden L, Everton C, Sutton, Everton P, Eddell, Beasley, Harvey, Robinson. Subs: Dennis (Nicholls), Gregory (Everton C), Wootton (Inman)
Newark: Tinsley, Tomlinson, Dunning, Primett, Tatham, Webster, Cove, Price J, Clark, Offer, Britten, Galinski, Waqalevu, Brummitt, Byrom. Subs: Shiels, Price D, Badley