Date: Sun 10th Mar 2019
Sunday 10th March – Harlow u13s 10 Braintree u13s 30 – Friendly
Harlow hosted Braintree this Sunday on an incredibly breezy morning at Latton Park.
There are games where the result isn’t important as the brief was to pull together and play. With key players away with county in development player programmes we were missing Archie Goodger, Jamie Oliver and regular captain Henry Stovell. Injury withdrawals from Joe Court (ankle), Owen Eynon (groin) and Corey Kelman (back) meant some last minute adjustments to the line-up.
Danny Billington stood in as captain in Henry’s absence and did a splendid job ably assisted by Ed Lea as pack leader and he made a special mention for the support Callum Boyce offered him. Between them they prepared the team for the game in a really positive manor.
On the back of a win against Chelmsford last week the team continued where they left off the team spirit was excellent and in the past where the weather would have been an issue, today it wasn’t mentioned as the team just wanted to play. They cracked on and started well with the pressure being put on, crash ball after crash ball saw Montelle Levy go over for the first try of the game.
Brandon Jackson, Talu Ajibabi were carrying the ball confidently and scaring the defence when they had the ball in hand.
The Braintree boys were strong and smart at the breakdown which meant they won the ball a few times. In the first half they took advantage and moved the ball wide scoring three of their four tries from a few missed tackles and another came through the middle.
Half time 5-20
The boys realised that they were in this game and just needed to tweak a few things to keep hold of the ball in the second half. The scrum was strong all morning with us winning our own ball and plenty of the opposition as well. When the scrum is this strong the team can take risks as they know they have the opportunity to win the ball back in the scrum if they have to. We had to make a change at hooker Callum Boyce needed to come off, Charlie Jacques stepped in and performed with great gusto and this may be a position that is well suited to him in the future.
Talu was now in the centre as we had needed to readjust our line-up. This made a strong line up with Captain Danny and Talu both keen to carry the ball hard. Others were keen to carry the ball hard as well, George Snowdon wasn’t shy of work on the wing, Joseph Williams, Ed Lea, Charlie Jacques, Jacob Morgan and Felix Waugh all carried the ball hard and enjoyed the physicality.
From our rampages into the Braintree half Braintree turned the ball over and managed to go the length of the pitch to score. A similar turn over created the same opportunity, but this time Callum Hewett was on hand to sprint back, it was a little bit like watching a leopard chase it’s prey as he darted back to make a try saving tackle. He was ably assisted by Montelle in a defiant defence of our line. To Braintree’s credit they had the numbers to score, but the boys really made them work for it.
We continued to play and this saw Talu bust through the centre and top of his performance with a try from some distance out.
Final Score 10-30.
The learning points from today are, preparation works particularly when the boys positively support each other. There were fantastic moments of team work out there to mention, the boys grow as a team every week. Wonderful to see!
Harlow Man of the Match: Montelle Levy as nominated by Braintree
Special mentions: Danny Billington, Captain for the day and rose to the challenge really motivating the team.
Tries: Montelle Levy, Talu Ajibabi
Referee: Geoff Hargreaves, Harlow
1. Joseph Williams, 2. Callum Boyce, 3. Ed Lea, 4. Brandon Jackson, 5.Charlie Jacques, 8. Tolu Ajibabi, 9. Jack Rushworth. 10. Tobie Westbrook, 11. Freddie Adams, 12. Danny Billington (Captain), 13. Montelle Levy, 14. George Snowdon, 15. Callum Hewett
Subs: Jacob Morgan, Felix Waugh all played at least half a game.