Date: Sun 15th Sep 2019

Time: 10:00m

Match Report

Sunday 15th September – Shelford u14s 29 Harlow u14s 17 – Friendly

Harlow travelled to Shelford on Sunday most with the help of a Sat Nav and made it on time; some resorted to cooing like pigeon and took a little longer. It was a beautiful sunny day so there was a lovely view to take in.

This season we have introduced flankers and lineouts to the game and we are now up to the full 15 a-side game. We have a new rule where if a team leads by 39 points the game is complete and all players in the squad will play at least half a game. To help this we made changes half way through the first and second half as well as at half time.

It was good to be back on the pitch and putting what we have worked on in practice into a game. Shelford were also keen to do the same and the Harlow players were initially taken aback at how well Shelford dominated the break down by putting more people in and driving us off the ball.

This approach led to a number of dominant rucks and Shelford spinning it wide to open the scoring. Regrouping under the posts Harlow changed tact being more aggressive at the break down, which had an immediate impact.

Now retaining the ball a lot better Harlow were able to play on the front foot, this lead to a great chip ahead from Joseph Pankhurst pushing Shelford back where from the break down Ben Ferrier was able to break, running right to left across the pitch and scoring out wide.

Harlow were enjoying themselves now and having gained some confidence started to use their runners well. The next try came as Tolu Ajibabi bust through defender after defender to score. Joseph Pankhurst converted this try.

Harlow were linking well together with their tails up great carries from Danny Billington, Ben Ferrier set up ruck after ruck and the team all played their part in creating a bit of space for Henry Stovell ghost through and score.

This took us to half time with healthy lead and we looked dangerous with the ball in hand.

Half time 5 – 17.

In the second half some of our players tired in the sun, despite a number of rolling substitutions our urgency at the break down fell away. This meant we spent much of the second half defending. At one point the team were defending very hard on their own line determined to prevent a Shelford score. Our team building was really showing in the player’s determination to stick together.

As the half progressed, Shelford found a few holes in our defence and crept up to level the scores shortly before the end. In the final minutes, Shelford grabbed a couple of tries to take the final score to 29-17.

Final Score 29 – 17.

There was plenty of positives to take away from this game as an example our defence on our line was incredibly passionate. We tried new things and played with our heads up looking for the space.

The learning points from today are: Looking after the ball in the break down may mean putting more people into the ruck. Drive over the ball and do not use your feet to move the ball back. If you are walking you should be jogging, if you are jogging you should be running.

Harlow Man of the Match: Tolu Ajibabi
Tries: Ben Ferrier, Tolu Ajibabi, Henry Stovell
Conversions: Joseph Pankhurst
Penalties: None
Referee: From Shelford

Starting Team
1. Ed Lea (Sub Jacob Morgan) 2. Charlie Jacques (Sub Callum Boyce) 3. Joseph Williams (Sub Felix Waugh) 4. Brandon Jackson 5. Danny Billington 6. James Ford (Sub George Snowdon) 7. Archie Goodger 8. Ben Ferrier 9. Jack Rushworth 10. Joseph Pankhurst 11. Joe Court 12. Tolu Ajibabi 13. Henry Stovell (Captain) 14. Owen Eynon (Sub Montelle Levy) 15. Tobie Westbrook.

All players played half a game or more.