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RUGBY LEAGUE: Tommo treble spurs on St George
A HAT-TRICK from captain Mike Thompson helped Swindon St George move up to third place in the South West Division with a handsome 52-22 win over Gloucestershire Warriors at Greenbridge Road.
The skipper crossed the whitewash for three good tries as Jacob Rakuita and Eddie Curtis both scored twice, and Terry Martin, Paul Wilmott and James Slatter all scored once to complete the rout.
Assistant coach Barrie Ramshaw was proud of the way his side performed, and singled out Thompson for special praise.
"The boys played the best they have all season,” he said.
“The defence was great, and they came up fast and solid as a line and gave the opposition no where to go.
“We made a couple of mistakes but that was down to tiredness I think, and in attack the boys were dominating and we ran some great lines with superb support play.
“It was a great team performance featuring some outstanding individual performances led by captain Mike Thompson."
The Warriors kicked off into a strong wind which aided them in retaining the ball as they put early pressure on the Swindon try line, but the St George defence held firm and forced a turn over.
A couple of strong drives from the Swindon forwards gave the half back pairing of James Slatter and Mike Thompson room to bring in the backs, who made good metres, and they nearly went the length of the pitch to score with their first set-of-six.
Gloucester tried to move the ball away from their line but aggressive tackling forced a knock on, and strong forward runs drew in the Warriors defence leaving an overlap which centre Curtis took full advance of to open the scoring for Swindon.
They extended their lead from the kick off, after Thompson combined well with fullback Rakuita to move the ball close to the Gloucester try line, where prop Martin crossed.
Swindon were really on top of their game both in attack and defence and Thompson soon sent Rakuita clean through to score under the sticks.
The next try was not too far behind, as the pair reversed their roles as Rakuita broke down the right before off-loading to Thompson to race clear from half way to score.
Gloucester got themselves back into the contest with a good score, but soon after Swindon player-coach Carl Baker came away with the ball, and set up Wilmott for his first goal for the club.
Curtis added his second of the day on the stroke of half time, although Gloucester replied quickly after the break.
But any thoughts of a comeback were quickly quashed as Thompson side stepped his way through the Gloucester defence to score, and the skipper completed his hat-trick with a superb run from 80 metres out.
Rakuita soon added his second, and although Gloucester did hit back again, the comeback was never really on.