Date: Sun 6th Oct 2019
Sunday 6th October – Harlow u14s 33 – Basildon u14s 27 Friendly[gallery
Harlow hosted Basildon on a day when both sides had a number of players included in the DPP (Saracens/Essex) 8 away for Basildon and 5 for Harlow (Ben Ferrier, Archie Goodger, Jamie Oliver, Joseph Pankhurst and Henry Stovell). It was good to see many of them and Ed Lea who was injured come along and support the team after they finished at the DPP.
Basildon arrived with 14 players and Freddie Adams volunteer to play for Basildon so we could keep the teams at 15 v 15. Big hand to Freddie, who played half a game for Basildon and half a game for Harlow!
Basildon started well and were dominating the break down and pushing Harlow off the ball. This resulted in Basildon going on the rampage and breaking through our defence to score an unconverted try.
Basildon continued their early dominance and their number 8 Reggie, later to be named man of the match, picked up brushed off the defenders and scored an unconverted try to lead 10-0.
At this point, our team from 12 months ago, would have collapsed, but there is a new feeling amongst the players and we saw some great team work and determination to play the game on our terms. Harlow started to pressure on Basildon and this back line pressure saw Tobie Westbrook intercept on the half way and score under the posts. A try he converted himself and was to be his first of four successful conversions of the day (100% kicking record!)
Harlow were in their stride and a purple patch followed, from the pressure Harlow applied in defence, we pinned Basildon in their own half and won a turnover. From this turnover we shifted the ball left with more numbers than Basildon, Corey Kelman showed the ball, an old fashioned dummy, and using his new found confidence, went for the line scoring his first try in over a year. Tobie Westbrook stepped up and slotted the conversion.
From the kick off, caught by Danny Billington who as having an excellent game and stepped in as captain today, carried the ball hard. Felix Waugh (later to be awarded man of the match by Basildon) carried the ball on, passing to Tobie and then onto Tolu Ajibabi who accelerated down the wing around and over a few players before dotting down under the posts. Tobie Westbrook again converted the conversion.
The half finished with a try from Basildon with an effective pick and go strategy from the rucks.
Half time 21 – 15.
In the second half Basildon had sustained an injury so we agreed to play 13 v 13 and for both teams to play without flankers.
This was a close game between two competitive teams. Basildon started the second half the way they finished the first half with a bust through our defence to score a try and make the scores 21-20.
Harlow’s next try was an example of players doing their job on the pitch. Harlow were attacking Freddie Adams (now playing for Harlow) carried the ball up. Charlie Jacques sealed off in a strong position and the ball was moved simply, but effectively to Tobie Westbrook through Owen Eynon and onto Montelle Levy who stepped and jinked his way through the remaining Basildon defence and then had the good sense to touch down under the posts to make the conversion easier for Tobie Westbrook who duly converted. 28-20.
The Basildon number 8 was still causing Harlow problems, without the flankers he found it easier to dance through from the base of the scrum and score despite the attention of Montelle Levy and Jack Rushworth trying to hold him up. This time the conversion completed successfully to take the last part of the game a one-point game 28-27.
Harlow wrapped up the game following a penalty which all game Harlow had tapped and run with the forwards, this time went neatly through the backs hands to Montelle who once again stepped and danced his way through the defence to touch down. With Tobie Westbrook off the pitch, Owen Eynon took on the kicking responsibilities but missed the only kick of the game we missed. With the tries scored evenly balances at five all. Tobie’s goal kicking on the day and the willingness of the try scorers to score close to the posts was the difference between the two teams.
Last season we played Basildon away, with all the DPP players for both teams available we lost 50-15. This game shows that both sides have very good squads and we look forward to playing again in the future.
Final Score 33 – 27.
Work rate throughout the game for some is something to continue focusing on in training this week alongside our ball placement, sealing off and body position.
Special mentions: Tobie Westbrook 100% with the boot. Felix Waugh warrior carries around the ruck. Corey Kelman a return of confidence. Brandon Jackson hungry for work and carried endlessly. George Snowdon and James Forde for some ferocious tackling. Danny Billington for stepping in as skipper and leading from the front. Callum Hewett for a mammoth chase back try saving tackle. Tolu Ajibabi and Owen Eynon for the pressure they applied in defence.
Harlow Man of the Match: Felix Waugh (Chosen by Basildon)
Basildon Man of the Match: Their number 8 Reggie (Awarded by the Harlow Players)
Tries: Tobie Westbrook, Corey Kelman, Tolu Ajibabi, Montelle Levy (2)
Conversions: Tobie Westbrook (4)
Referee: Geoff Hargreaves (Harlow)
1. Felix Waugh, (Sub Jacob Morgan) 2. Callum Boyce (Sub Charlie Jacques) 3. Joseph Williams 4. Corey Kelman (Sub Freddie Adams) 5. Brandon Jackson 6. George Snowdon 7. James Forde 8. Danny Billington 9. Jack Rushworth 10. Tobie Westbrook 11. Montelle Levy 12. Tolu Ajibabi 13. Owen Eynon 14. Joe Court (Sub Noah Reynolds) 15. Callum Hewett
All players played half a game or more.