Date: Sun 17th Sep 2017
Ongar U16s 5 v 17 Harlow U16s (Friendly)
U16s first win of the season.
Big thanks to Ongar today for arranging our fixture. We had to move this fixture from a home game due to an away fixture being switched for our U13 & U14s teams.
Both teams were evenly matched. Ongar started well, pushing Harlow back but then the tide turned and it was Harlow’s turn to push Ongar back. It ebbed and flowed for most of the first half. Ongar eventually broke the dead lock. Good kick from Ongar from the half way line and Harlow made a bit of a mess with the clearance resulting in Ongar taking the ball and scoring a try. 5-0.
From the re-start Harlow put pressure on the Ongar defence. We kept this up for sometime which resulted in a try for Harlow. Good forward play resulting in Owen Higgins-Edwards receiving the ball some 10m from the try line. Owen powered his way towards the line and stretching out and placing the ball over the line to score. 5-5. From the restart it was pretty evenly match to half time. It is quite surprising how physical but controlled the game has developed for the U16s.
Half Time 5-5
At half time the boys talked about the weakness they were showing but more importantly talked about their strength. This was the platform for the second half . We made changes at halftime to try and use the whole squad. It did not show any weakness in the team on the pitch . From the start they powered forward. Connor Clark played out of his skin from his full back position. This was disputed by him complaining just before half time that his back was hurting. The magic spray did its job and he was a new man. He was catching high kicks, kicking to clear his line and nailing tackles. The rest of the backs were just as competitive. Then the forwards started to do their stuff. Running into contact and then presenting the ball back so the pod could do their stuff and repeat the process. This happened for two or three phases then brought in the backs. It was great to watch. To be fair Ongar was doing pretty much the same thing. Harlow eventually broke the deadlock with Callum Wright taking the ball of the back of a scrum and with those big shoulders powering himself over the line. 5-10.
Harlow heads were up. From the start from kick off Harlow pressured Ongar back again. With Ongar’s backs to the wall they showed great defensive work which was hard to break down but eventually from a scrum George Garner picked the ball up from the back of the scrum and powered forward. Just before contacted George offloaded to Will Keep who was on his shoulder. Will saw the line and was determined to cross it. He was not going to be stopped no matter what. With the conversation from Connor Ingram the score was 5-17. This was the final score.
Today was a landmark moment. Every player whether in the starting team or as a sub did not let themselves down when it mattered. Today the players played for each other and supported each other when required. This was a first. The squad was determined to win.
Well done to the whole squad from the Harlow coaches. And the opposition coaches congratulated the squad on their attitude towards the game. You are all a credit to the U16s and the club.
Man of the match. Forwards and Backs
Ewan Taplin for his tackling and commitment to the game. Never gave up despite being hurt on several occasions.
Connor Clark. From a dodgy first half to a almost perfect second half after the magic spray at half time. Controlled his position and no one was going to pass him.
Brilliant performance from both.
Team: Lou McArdell, Ewan Taplin, Peter Watt, Logan Thurgood, Owen Higgins-Edwards, George Garner (C), Edward Obeney, Ollie Partridge, George Gazzard, Alex Perry, Callum Wright, Conner Ingram, Daniel Keane, Sam Collins, Connor Clark, Joel Holding, Joe Norris, Daniel MacKensie, Jay Evens, Leo Roac, Will Keep and Jack Johnson.