Blackburn 18 - 41 Kirkby Lonsdale

SOUTH African starlet Lwazi Ngcungama marked his Kirkby Lonsdale debut with a stunning hat-trick to give his new teammates a perfect start to the North One West campaign in a comfortable win at Blackburn.

Kirkby's number thirteen Tom Pickthall was deadly with the boot - nailing four first half penalties - as Ngcungama grabbed the first two tries of his haul to give the visitors a commanding 27-6 lead at the break.

Left winger David Bird added a try of his own before Ngcungama sealed his treble - much to the delight of new skipper Ben Walker.

"I am really happy with how everything went," said the 26-year-old scrum-half, who has been involved with the club since the age of six.

"There are still a few things to work on but we are coming together really nicely after a solid nine week pre-season together.

"Lwazi has only been with us but he is class and will be here for the season.

"The first half we were in total control. Every time we went into their 22 they gave away a penalty and Pickthall kicked really well. The second-half they came back a bit stronger and we maybe took our foot off the gas a little bit and got a bit complacent."

Kirkby applied the early pressure but were contained by a determined Blackburn defence, which was ultimately penalised for handling in a ruck. Pickthall made no mistake with the penalty and it was 0-3 with as many minutes on the clock.

A Dave Barton drop goal made it 0-6 before Pickthall’s second penalty took the score to 0-9.

Blackburn's Leon Fifield put them on the board with a penalty before Kirkby stretched their lead with a series of tries and penalties.

The first try arrived in the twenty third minute when, following forward pressure near the Blackburn line, number seven Ngcungama wrestled his way over in the left corner.

Pickthall’s kick drifted to the right but the visitors now had a decent lead at 3-14.

Fifield scored another penalty but two minutes later and Blackburn added to their own problems when they failed to take a clean catch as the ball bounced into touch off the defender near their five metre line.

Kirkby caught their lineout ball and drove. Blackburn yielded and Pickthall made no mistake to slot over another penalty.

And it was 3-20 moments later when Blackburn were caught off side and the deadly Pickthall punished them again.

Kirkby’s second try came almost on the half time whistle when players hurled themselves into drive and the momentum was on.

the ball was in the lethal embrace of Ngcungama and Blackburn were unable to prevent him powering over for his second try.

Pickthall nailed the conversion and at half time Kirkby had a lead of 6-27.

The second half started with a bang when Walker ran from inside his own twenty two.

A step here, a feint there, a jink and some pace left defenders clutching at air before Blackburn finally got a hand on him on their own five metre line and somehow they managed to clear the danger.

The intent was stated though and as Kirkby continued to press Blackburn began to lose a bit of shape and discipline, the deliberate knock on of a try scoring pass got them a yellow card and moments later a high tackle earned them a second one.

There was now space and quick thinking by Bird exploited it to score the third try - duly converted by Pickthall.

Blackburn's Filfield got over the whitewash next in the left corner to reduce the gap but they were unable to convert.

Kirkby’s bonus point arrived through Ngcungama before Jake Maher scored a late consolation and Filfield added the two as the game drew to a close.

Team: Jonas Thorson, Dan Armistead, Pablo Kwiczor, Leandro Kwiczor, David Cooper-Dunn, Stuart Storey, Lwazi Ngcungama, Craig Galbraith, Ben Walker, David Barton, David Bird, Jack Akrigg, Tom Pickthall, Ed Towers , Chris Ramwell. Bench: Nick Edney, Scott Boyd, Tom Slater