SUNDERLAND Under-10s picked up two battling draws against Middlesbrough in games where defences came out on top.
After a six-week lay-off, the Ashbrooke youngsters travelled to Teesside looking to repeat an early-season success against Boro.
Jack Cahill lead a series of probing attacks for the Wearsiders, crossing the whitewash after a defence-splitting run, before Boro hit back with an equaliser.
Missed tackles saw the Teessiders snatch a 10-5 lead, before Bryson Robinson snatched a try with a typical barnstorming run to level at 10-10.
Following a high tackle in midfield, Josh Jobling seized the advantage to gallop around five defenders, before crossing in the corner for a 15-10 Sunderland lead.
From the restart, Sunderland switched off, allowing Boro to score, with the match ending in a 15-15 draw.
In the second clash, the Hoops were overwhelmed in a six-try 30-0 loss to Boro, despite tenacious tackling from Ethan Hunter, Ethan Ellis and Jason Ashman.
The final encounter proved an end-to-end contest, with the lead see-sawing between the two sides.
Cahill opened the scoring with a dart to the line, but Boro hit back with two scores to lead 10-5 wih only minutes remaining.
At the death, Cahill stole the ball to score an equaliser to confirm a 10-10 draw.