Date: Sun 6th Nov 2022
We hosted our local rivals Bishop’s Stortford on Sunday in only our second home game of the season. With so many players available for a home game we needed to limit the squad size to ensure all players involved played at least half a game in line with RFU regulations.
As seems to be the normal operating procedure at the moment, the heavens were as open as they could be and water appeared to fall in sheets instead of droplets. Nonetheless this eagerly awaited game was going ahead one way or another.
With a change in approach to ensure we played with tempo, the whole front row was changed after the first quarter, at half time and again mid-way through the second half to help bring energy to the team. We still started slowly so a re-think may be required.
Bishop’s Stortford started strongly scoring three tries before Harlow had fired a shot. Firstly, moving the ball through the phases and scoring out on the left. Next up they scored with a well-placed cross field kick and then again with their ability to move the ball wide. One of the tries was converted and Stortford had a 17-nil lead.
Harlow had hardly broken a sweat and needed to up their work rate to secure the ball at the break down and build through the phases.
From a penalty about 20 yards out Rhys Eynon tapped quickly and broke for the line. He was backed up by Owen Mills who was able to gather and crash over taking us to half time. 5-17
Half time 5 – 17.
The half time team talked reflected that no-one was out of breath. Clearly to keep hold of the ball we needed to run better support lines to help secure the ball at the break down. Stortford appeared to be turning is over at the break down at will. Work rate, work rate, work rate!
As the second half got under way Harlow, Harlow once again tapped a penalty and ran. Oscar Fulk getting on the score sheet. 10-17.
Stortford responded turning Harlow over at the break down and moving the ball to the space out wide. 10-22.
Next up came a sustained period of pressure from Harlow where the forwards worked to build the phases. This opened up space out wide and Rhys Eynon put in a great cross field kick which was caught cleanly by Wills Lyons to touch down. Rhys Eynon slotted the conversion. 17-22.
Stortford bounced back putting pressure on the Harlow team. Under pressure we tried to clear our lines which was charged down and the try converted. 17-29.
With time running out the Harlow team appeared to work harder for each other and putting more pressure on Stortford. From a loose ball Owen Mills pounced touching down. Rhys Eynon converted making the score 24-29.
Harlow could now sniff a draw or even a victory with one more score. After a number of Stortford offences at the break down Harlow were once more on the Stortford line. Owen Mills was able to score out wide levelling the scores 29-29 with 3 minutes to play.
A nervous time for both teams a few basic errors saw the last moments being played out with scrums to either side. The final whistle being blown and a drawn game in a hotly contested local derby.
Final Score 29 – 29
Tries: Owen Mills (3), Oscar Fulk, Wills Lyons
Conversions: Rhys Eynon (2)
Penalties: Not this week
Referee(s): Mike Lyons (Harlow)
1. Reigan Clarke, 2. Oscar Fulk, 3. Daniel Rami 4. Jacob Kearney, 5. Louis Fisher, 6. Grady Butler (c), 7. Daniel Wood, 8. Owen Mills, 9. Adam Leamon, 10. Rhys Eynon, 11. Jason Webb, 12. Louis Fisher, 13. Wills Lyons, 14. Jessie Collins, 15. Eduard Turcu.
Front row subs (rotating): Stanley Dennis, Daniel Rolfe-Doyle, Oliver Davies
Subs: Connor Hesler, Leo Johnson, Harry Shaw
The try scoring split favours the forwards 16 to 4 with a new back, Wills Lyons, entering the chart this week