Date: Sun 20th Feb 2022
A trip to play a club not too far away this week, and a club we don’t know too much about other than some of the players from both sides go to school together. It gave us an opportunity to take everyone who was fit and available and give them all half a game or more.
On a blustery Sunday lunch time and a muddy pitch provided challenging conditions for both sides where Fred Thurley made his first appearance as a Harlow player and received his club tie after the game.
The conditions today made open flowing rugby a non-starter, but what it did not stop was a pulsating game where two teams who didn’t mind an expensive mud pack face mask, the opportunity to run hard at each other and defend hard throughout.
Most of the first half was played in the Harlow half but the defensive sets the players worked through showed just how much passion the Harlow boys put into their defence. Pouncing on every loose ball they could and out scrummaging the opposition.
Saffron Walden were able to take advantage of a slight defensive lapse to score out wide on half time.
Half time 5 – 0.
The half time team talk reflected how impressed the coaches were with the defensive effort and how much effort would continue to be needed in the second half.
Half time replacements included Joseph Williams on for Felix Waugh, Gabe Greaves for Atakan Alagoz, Ed Lea on for Brandon Jackson, Freddie Adams for Corey Kelman, Matt Macfarlane for Alfie Dutnall, Tolu Ajibabi for Fred Thurley, Jamie Oliver for Owen Eynon and Kai Young for Jacob Heald.
More than half the team was changed at half time, but this did not affect the commitment and passion in the second half.
In an unfortunate twist of fate, the wind kicked up in the second half and it was not in Harlow’s favour. This meant that it was difficult for Harlow to play in the opposition half. It didn’t stop Harlow trying to play, but most of the time it was defensive set after defensive set tackling one or two out from the break down.
Harlow managed to turn over Saffron Walden at key points which meant Saffron Walden kept knocking but they couldn’t get it.
From a turnover a wayward clearance kick of an overweight muddy ball gifted the opposition and unopposed run in the try line for the only score of the second half.
Harlow kept working and fashioned many half chances which on a drier day they would have put away.
The boys came off the pitch having given it their all and in high spirits. The game made for some great photos and memories which will live long in the memory. Saffron Walden were great hosts and treated us to a fine meal finished off with cakes! The players accumulated some fines through their attire and play which were punished with a combined sing song with the opposition. The singing is where the coaching effort now needs to focus!
Final Score 10 – 0
Next week we take on Woodford away in the Waterfall cup.
Tries: Not this week
Referee: From Saffron Walden
1. Felix Waugh, 2. Danny Billington, 3. Atakan Alagoz, 4. Brandon Jackson, 5. Corey Kelman, 6. Fred Thurley, 7. Alfie Dutnall, 8. Ben Ferrier, 9. Jack Rushworth, 10. Joseph Pankhurst, 11. Montelle Levy, 12. Owen Eynon, 13. Henry Stovell, 14. Jacob Heald, 15. Tobie Westbrook, 16. Joseph Williams, 17. Gabe Greaves, 18. Ed Lea, 19. Freddie Adams, 20. Matt MacFarlane, 21. Tolu Ajibabi, 22. Jamie Oliver. 23. Kai Young