Stimpson's style

North 18 London/South-East 9
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The Independent Online
BRIAN MOORE'S return to his Yorkshire roots was far from happy or successful. Not only was the former England hooker spoken to firmly after trampling over Matt Greenwood late in the second half, but the London skipper also took a battering as his side were beaten at College Grove, Wakefield, in the CIS Divisional Championship.

Instead, the North's full-back, Tim Stimpson, stole Moore's limelight with an exemplary display and surely an England cap is only a matter of time.

London, a poor second before half-time, improved significantly as the game wore on, but solid defending by the North prevented them scoring the try their possession arguably deserved.

Slick handling by the North's backs and decent balls from the pack created several attacking positions. The opening try was set up by the scrum- half Austin Healey, who is also establishing himself nationally. Healey combined with Neil Ashurst to send in Jim Mallinder.

London kept in touch through penalties by Guy Gregory; while the flanker Rory Jenkins, also keen to add to his growing status, competed vigorously, put in one thunderous tackle before the break. But the visitors seldom posed any threat.

On this showing, there was little apart from Stimpson and Healey to excite England's selectors, dejected by South Africa's victory last week.

The North's 10-6 lead at the interval did little to cheer Moore on his reappearance in his homeland. For a competitor of his stature to be surrounded by lesser mortals must have given him as much pleasure as being dropped by the selectors.

London's commitment created danger as hostilities were renewed. Gregory's third penalty put them just one point behind and the mini-revival threatened to become more lasting. Moore's competitive instincts were aroused by this improvement, but the visitors were not able to sustain the promise.

The North's willingness to run the ball turned into a thrilling counter- attack. Stimpson sprinted down the touchline and then laid on a sensible pass to Naylor who, in turn, supplied Will Greenwood, following up. The centre's try gave North a 15-9 advantage with 20 minutes of the game left.

Saracens' Tony Diprose continued to work tirelessly, but his opponents finished more strongly. Greenwood threatened to score again, but the North's final points came from Rob Liley, demonstrating some individual flair on his return to Wakefield.

North: T Stimpson (West Hartlepool); J Naylor (Orrell), P Johnson (Orrell, capt), W Greenwood (Harlequins), J Mallinder; R Liley (both Sale), A Healey; P Winstanley (both Orrell), S Diamond (Sale), M Shelley (West Hartlepool), J Fowler (Sale), M Greenwood (Wasps), R Arnold (Newcastle), N Ashurst, C Vyvyan (both Sale).

London and South-East: A Tunningley (Saracens); M Griffiths, N Greenstock (both Wasps), P Mensah (Harlequins), S Roiser; G Gregory, A Gomarsall (all Wasps); S Brown (Harlequins), B Moore (Harlequins, capt), I Dunston (Wasps), A Snow, M Watson (both Harlequins), M White (Wasps), R Jenkins (Harlequins), A Diprose (Saracens).

Referee: A J Spreadbury (Somerset).

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