Date: Sun 9th Oct 2022
We travelled to Dunstable on Sunday to play a team we knew very little about. Their coaching team were very keen to make sure all their players had game time and we played four quarters to make sure all players were able to rotate.
Harlow arrived with 17 players, somewhat different from the side we thought we would put together due to a number of late withdrawals and some players
not showing up. We had a number of injured and players traveling to watch, and a big hand goes to Charlie Armstrong, Oscar Fulk, Ben Taylor and Kai for supporting their team. Nonetheless with a re-jigged team the Harlow players warmed up well and adjusted quickly to the uncontested scrums allowing the players to try out some new back row moves. With Owen Mills fresh from some game time on Saturday with the Welsh Exiles he started on the bench recovering from a 4 hour drive to be with us. Oliver Shaw being our other replacement ready to go at a moment’s notice. The moment came quacking and both were called into the game early on with injuries to Jack Lancaster (knee, hopefully it isn’t too serious, and he’ll be back with us shortly as he had started the game well) and Nickerson Said (fingers, not serious and he game back in the game later on.).
Harlow’s first try came from a number 8 pick up from Owen Mills, smashing his way through an unexpecting defence and thundering his way to the line. Harlow were up 0-5. Dunstablians knew they had a game on their hands and replied in kind. From the kick off Harlow didn’t deal with the pressure well and knocked on. From the resulting scrum a pick and go lead to a converted try. 5-7. Play then swayed a little Harlow and little Dunstablians with a number of handling errors in the face of some ferocious tackling. From a scrum a pick and go again was the undoing as the back row battle seemed to be producing all the tries. 5-14
First quarter done, 5-14
A quick chat, reorganisation and into the second quarter. Thumping tackles, powerful runs, kicks for touch, scrums line outs and then a converted try for Dunstablians 21-5
Half time 21 – 5
The half time team talk reflected our need to control the ball playing our pattern and then attacking the space….. and we did, great play opened up space for captain and back row Grady Butler to pummel his way over to score, converted by Rhys Eynon 21-12. And game on for the final quarter.
Third quarter 21-12
In this quarter the score could have gone either way. Owen Mills scored for Harlow from another savage escapade into the Dunstablians defence to get his second of the day. From some ill discipline and a couple of high tackles Harlow were defending their line and Dunstablians managed to sneak over after a prolonged effort from the attack and defence. 28-17. The lesson we learn from this is that with a little more discipline in the way we play, we could have been the team on the attack and it could have been Harlow scoring our forth try to take the game instead of the other way around. It was a cracking game to watch for all the spectators and great commitment from both teams.
Final Score 28 – 17
Man of the Match this week went to Oliver Shaw, great performance, special mentions to Owen Mills smashing his way through defence and attack, Grady Butler great leadership.
Next week we take on Barnet for an 11:30 kick off
Tries: Owen Mills (2), Grady Butler
Conversions: Rhys Eynon
Referee: From Dunstablians
1. Daniel Rolfe-Doyle, 2. Iestyn Owen, 3. Sammy Keens, 4. Nickerson Said (Sub Oliver Shaw), 5. Daniel Rami, 6. Jake Lancaster (Sub Owen Mills), 7. Daniel Wood, 8. Grady Butler (c), 9. Adam Leamon, 10. Rhys Eynon, 11. Leo Johnson, 12. Jessie Collins, 13. Marcus Blaney, 14. Jason Webb, 15. Eduard Turcu.