Pike satisfied after guiding Red & Greens to first victory of the season
New Market Rasen & Louth head coach Rhuari Pike guided his side to their first win of the season at home to Kettering.
The 26-14 victory at Willingham Road proved to be a big improvement on the team's opening game of the season and pleased Pike as he bids to continue the side's progression following the departure of former coach Simon Green.
"We were pretty disappointed after the opening day defeat away at Paviors," said Pike.
"But generally speaking, the players took everything on board and we worked on a few things and put them right."
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"Every game in this league is a battle. When you consider that last season the two teams we have played were second and fourth respectively, then you get a picture of the quality of the opposition so far."
The Red & Greens started well and made their way up field. From a scrum on the edge of the Kettering 22. Meehal Grint put away winger Peter Everton, who side-stepped the defender and crossed the line. Grint nailed the conversion.
Three minutes later the visitors suffered another setback with centre Joe Newman yellow carded.
Rasen took full advantage with a further penalty pushing them within striking distance of the Kettering line.
A catch and drive was executed to perfection as prop Chris Starling touched down. Grint added the conversion.
Grint went from hero to villain with a telegraphed pass that was intercepted by Kettering's flying substitute Louis Hackett for a free run to the line under the posts.
Scrum-half Joe Daniel slotted the conversion to bring his side back into the game.
The visitors clearly finished the half stronger and emerged in the same mood for the second half.
They earned an early penalty, but Daniel's kick fell short and wide of the mark.
The scare prompted Rasen into attack and they were soon deep in Kettering territory.
A trademark charging run from prop Ollie Cole was followed by a deft pass to supporting skipper Dave Starling who dived over the line. Again, Grint slotted the conversion.
Rasen were establishing a degree of control and it was they who were next to score.
Nick Harvey cut a clever line and powered his way forward to set up a maul which was finished off by Cole lurking out on the wing, to secure a bonus point.
A penalty saw Kettering tap again and their forwards rumbled over for a try as due reward for their endeavour.
Daniels added the conversion, but Kettering couldn't close the deficit any further and with their skipper back on the field, Rasen saw out the game.
Rasen travel to Lincolnshire rivals Spalding on Saturday.