Date: Sun 5th Dec 2021
This fixture was the first time this season we have played a team twice and the first time this season we have had two games on the trot at home. We travelled to Thurrock back in September and played some great rugby, but went down in the dying minutes 30-20. You can read previous the report here: harlowrugby.club/fixtures-and-results/u16s-vs-thurrock/. Having not produced the result we wanted last time out, this was an opportunity to reverse the outcome which the players were keen to do just that.
Competition for positions in the side is increasing as players are coming back from a few injuries and we have others to return in the coming weeks.
That competition translated into pressure, pressure, pressure on Thurrock from the kick off as Harlow’s relentless pressure resulted in a Harlow scrum around the opposition 22 where Tolu Ajibabi picked up and broke left, off loading to Ben Ferrier who touched down. Joseph Pankhurst converted and Harlow are off to a fine start 7-0.
Next up break from our own half great break from Henry Stovell eating up the ground, to Montelle Levy who offload to great support from Jamie Oliver. Converted by Joseph Pankhurst 14-0.
Thurrock coming back into the game with a breakthrough the middle and a nice offload in contact. The try was converted 14-7.
Harlow’s next try was coming from total scrum dominance as regardless of put in Harlow seemed to leave the scrum with possession. This dominance allowed the Harlow to create an overlap on the right where Kai Young was able to dot down out wide. 19-7.
Harlow were pushing hard with a break from in their own half, one more pass would surely have secured a try but the ball went loose in contact and Thurrock quickly moved the ball left spotting an opportunity to run mismatches backs v forwards to their quick winger who then outpaced all the chasing defence. The try was converted 19-14.
Harlow wanted another before half time and they got it from captain Henry Stovell working the left of the pitch and score 24-14.
Half time 24 – 14.
The half time team talk reflected trusting our processes and continuing to play with the ball in hand.
Subs Jacob Heald came on the wing and Montelle Levy moved to full back
The second half began, and the pressure was back on Thurrock, Henry Stovell was held up over the line and from the try line drop out Thurrock kicked it into touch resulting in a Harlow 5m scrum. Tolu pick and go Ben Ferrier in support and touches down for his second. 29-14.
The back row combined brilliantly for the next try, Tolu Ajibabi offloading to Ben Ferrier, offloading to Matt Macfarlane to break away and score his first Harlow try. 34-14.
Another dominant scrum and attack from the middle of the pitch, across the back line with Montelle Levy coming through at space stepping one, two, three defenders and bosh and speed away to score. This conversion was successful from Joseph Pankhurst taking him to 30 conversions for the season. 41-14.
Thurrock were to have the last say of the game with a battering on our try line 41-19.
A fine entertaining game today from two teams who wanted to keep playing rugby until the end. The Harlow players really worked hard today and their combined work rate, particularly in defence really made the difference. Great performance from the Harlow team.
Great games this week from several players however a special mention for Danny Billington, chopping down anyone that was unfortunate enough to run into his channel. Our front 5 no matter who was on the pitch of Danny, Joseph, Gabe, Atakan, Ed, Corey and Brandon who did not give a Thurrock an easy scrum. A fantastic days work!
Final Score 41 – 19
Tries: Ben Ferrier (2), Jamie Oliver, Montelle Levy, Kai Young, Henry Stovell, Matt Macfarlane
Conversions: Joseph Pankhurst (3)
Referee: Dan Ricketts, Harlow Club Referee
1. Gabe Greaves, 2. Danny Billington, 3. Atakan Alagoz, 4. Ed Lea, 5. Corey Kelman, 6. Alfie Dutnall, 7. Ben Ferrier, 8. Tolu Ajibabi, 9. Jack Rushworth, 10. Joseph Pankhurst, 11. Montelle Levy, 12. Jamie Oliver, 13. Henry Stovell, 14. Kai Young, 15. Owen Eynon, 16. Gabe Greaves, 17. Brandon Jackson, 18. Matt MacFarlane, 19. Jacob Heald, All players played half a game.