Date: Sun 10th Nov 2019
Sunday 10th November – Chelmsford u14s 12 Harlow u14s 29: League
We travelled to Chelmsford today for a league game and a later 12:30 kick off, which was a reunion for Joseph Pankhurst and Ben Ferrier who joined us from Chelmsford over the summer.
Harlow started poorly today, in the warm up we were less than precise which was taken into the start of the game. Harlow have been on a seven game winning streak, but the learning point from today is that it is what you do next that is important and you need to be switched on from the start in a physical game like rugby or the opposition will take you on.
Chelmsford were quick to take advantage of this and were on the attack, our defence wasn’t on the front foot and putting the pressure on as they should, Chelmsford took this chance and crossed the line for the first try of the game.
Harlow were starting to awaken from their slumber and started to look after the ball at the break down a lot better which enabled us to build positive attacking pressure.
From a tap penalty Jacob Morgan carried the ball with good support from Jamie Oliver and Archie Goodger a move they devised and had worked on themselves in the warm up. This was the start of an attack which built after a number of phases with some good carries, and ball protection from James Ford, Brand Jackson, Charlie Jacques and Felix Waugh.
At this point in the game, the Harlow back line were putting increasing pressure onto the Chelmsford back line, aggressively pushing up in defence. Owen Eynon was wrong footed and put in a tackle which was some distance over the height that is acceptable. The referee was right to have long hard talk to our apologetic player and fortunately kept his cards in his pocket.
The ball was played back and forth for a while as the Harlow players inched down the pitch. From a clearance kick Harlow had a line out, Ben Ferrier made a break and offloaded to Archie Goodger to weave, dodge and then drive through to score. Tobie Westbrook stepped up and slotted the conversion to give Harlow a narrow 5-7 lead.
Harlow’s second try also came from a line out, hands across our back line, Jack Rushworth, Joseph Pankhurst, Owen Eynon to Henry Stovell were sublime and gave Henry the space he needed to work in and score out wide taking the score to 12-7 and half time.
It was more of a half survived more than a half playing well, but Harlow were getting into their rhythm.
Half time 5 – 12.
At half time, the players were reminded of the things they have been working on in training including the ram call at the break down to commit the opposition and secure the ball. They knew they were in a game and needed to step up their play in the second half going up the hill.
Our lineout has been a source of much of our attacking play. From a line out close to the Chelmsford line, the team put the ball through a four or five hard carries from George Snowdon, James Ford, Owen Eynon and then finally to Archie Goodger who offloaded to Ben Ferrier who scored his first try of the game. This was converted by Joseph Pankhurst taking the score to 5-19.
The best move of the match came from a line out where Joseph Pankhurst put Montelle Levy through a gap. Montelle off loaded to Owen Eynon who immediately passed to Henry Stovell and put Tobie Westbrook and Joe Court into space. It was a cracking move and although there was a forward pass in there, there was great spatial awareness. Next time I am sure this will come off.
The pressure we created in defence was forcing Chelmsford to kick more than they would like and chasing. This was causing frustration as Harlow had most of the ball and Chelmsford came in from the side at many rucks. From one ruck Jack Rushworth tapped quickly and gave it to Ben Ferrier who used his gas to get into some space out wide and touch down. The score was now a more comfortable 5-24.
Our final try of the day also came from a line out and we had a queue of people on Ben Ferrier’s shoulder who could have scored the try, but he forced his way over the line touching down himself.
At 5-29 Harlow had won the game, but Chelmsford were keen to get back on the score sheet. They worked the pitch well and into our twenty two. Our defence was tiring and a cut back inside saw Chelmsford take advantage in a chink in the Harlow defence which had played so well for much of the game. They converted to take the score to 12-29.
Another week and another learning point for our players. Turn up humble and ready to play, it’s what you do next that’s important.
Next week Brentwood in the cup, and another step up in terms of opposition.
Final Score 12 – 29.
In training let’s work on our body position, ruck management and keeping our tackles low. We build this week for another big cup game at home against Brentwood next Sunday.
Special mentions: Great team effort today much hard work on the ground which often goes unnoticed particularly from our starting back row, James Ford, Jamie Oliver, Archie Goodger.
Harlow Man of the Match: Max Bien (Chosen by the Harlow players)
Chelmsford Man or the Match: Kier (Chosen by the Harlow players)
Tries: Archie Goodger, Henry Stovell, Ben Ferrier (3)
Conversions: Tobie Westbrook, Joseph Pankhurst
Referee: From Chelmsford
1. Felix Waugh (Sub Max Bien), 2. Charlie Jacques (Sub Joe Court), 3. Joseph Williams, 4. Brandon Jackson, 5. Jacob Morgan (Sub Ben Ferrier), 6. James Ford, 7. Archie Goodger, 8. Jamie Oliver, 9. Jack Rushworth, 10. Joseph Pankhurst, 11. Montelle Levy, 12. Owen Eynon, 13. Henry Stovell, 14. George Snowdon, 15. Tobie Westbrook
All players played half a game or more.