Washington out to build on fine friendly triumph

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WASHINGTON return to league action with Saturday’s Durham and Northumberland Division Three clash with Richmondshire at Biddick playing fields.

After a late cancellation of their scheduled Durham Plate tie, with Washington receiving a bye into the final, Jarrovians agreed to host the Newtowners in a hastily arranged friendly.

Washington duly enjoyed a comprehensive 36-10 victory, lifting spirits for this weekend’s visit to a Richmondshire side who were well beaten in their only league game so far.

Jarrovians, beaten 36-0 by Washington in their league opener last month, started brilliantly to go 5-0 ahead with a try in the first five minutes, but the visitors gradually got a hold on the game and bagged their first try when Jarrovians cleared from their 22. Full-back Paul Smith raced through a direct run down the centre of the home defence, though the conversion was missed.

Washington had a boost of confidence and, from the kick-off, Michael Reilly touched down after shaking off a number of tackles to put the visitors in front.

Matthew Fisher missed the difficult conversion from close to the touchline, but he soon made amends with the third Washington try and a successful conversion. Jarrovians responded with an unconverted try to trail 12-10.

Prop Dave Allen crashed over for Washington’s third score, with Fisher missing the conversion, before the try of the match saw the returning Ian Sykes race through the centre of the Jarrovians defence and offload to Craig Jorgensen for the try. Paul Smith converted.

Dave Fisher wrapped up the scoring when he picked a gap from the back of a scrum to score under the posts. Stephen Garrett coolly drop-kicked the conversion.

H European Rugby chief executive Derek McGrath claims plans for an Anglo-French breakaway tournament will not deliver improvement on the Heineken Cup.

English and French clubs have served notice to set up their own tournament.