Date: Sun 13th Jan 2019
Sunday 12th January – Canvey Island u13s 0 Harlow u13s 90 – Cup
We travelled to Canvey Island on Sunday having made a number of changes to our starting line-up, driven by some individual performances against Eton Manor last week, with Joseph Williams and Callum Boyce forcing their way into the starting team.
The weather was fine, if a little blustery and it made for a great game of rugby, even though the pitch was a little muddy than we are used to an much muddier than the 4G pitch at Eton Manor last week.
This week the boys showed up with intent, when they took a glance to our subs bench it was clear that any underperformance would mean some good players could come on and take their place. This seemed to focus their minds.
In a match where 18 tries were scored it would be easy to overlook the play which set up our tries. This was highlighted from the kick off where we quickly regained the ball and went through pod (ball carried with support) after pod of attack before the defence ran out and Joseph Williams scored his first try for Harlow in only his second game.
The second try was similar with the forwards working through their pods for the ball to pass to Henry, in at outside half this week to switch with Danny Billington into the open space and across the line for our second try.
The third try came from a scrum won against the head pass to Henry who ran an angle across the pitch with just the full back to beat Henry sensibly gave the easy pass to Joe Court to score his first try of the game.
The fourth try came from a tireless work in the forwards turning the ball over, space identified wide for the backs to pass hand over hand and Joe Court to finish this in the corner. We could see the excellent effort the boys have been putting in in training is really showing on the pitch.
The fifth and sixth tries came from delightful pressure defence, firstly forcing a clearance kick which went to Danny who charged back in to setting up a ruck from which Henry crossed the line. The sixth from the same pressure where Owen Eynon dived on the ball for his first try of the morning.
The seventh try saw the great forward effort, crash ball after crash ball was sealed off and rucked out to create space out wide for Jack Rushworth to get his first try of the morning.
At this point the Harlow team were rampant and we needed to make some changes, we were 35-0 up and Canvey had lost a player to injury. Henry and Jamie came off being replaced by Tobie and Charlie and Callum Hewett played on the wing for Canvey.
These changes didn’t change the way Harlow were approaching the game, we’d just introduced some boys who were itching to get on the pitch and prove their points! Our eighth try came from similar paten of play from the forwards turning over the ball and then looking for space out wide. Owen Eynon found himself in space with no-one in front of him and cantered in for his second try.
Forward dominance completed the half with holes being found in the Canvey close defence, Brandon Jackson punching through for two tries, his first tries for Harlow, he’s been waiting a while and then two come along in 3 minutes! Brandon’s brace were split by a back getting in on the action and Callum Hewlett punching a forward like hole for his first try of the game.
Half time: 55-0
At this point the game at junior level would normally be stopped, the Canvey coaches were keen to keep going and start the second half as if it was a new game. This allowed the Harlow team to get experimental giving players an opportunity to play in a position they may not have played in before. These included Jamie to hooker, Danny to number 8, Joe to full back and a variety of tweaks throughout the second half.
None the less the second half started with players doing the basics well. Tackling, rucking, sealing off and passing to people in space. So the raft of tries continued.
Freddie Adams made a break, finding himself in space and lifting his knees high he becomes a formidable runner, he almost made the line only to be brought down just short where Callum Hewett picked up and dropped over the line for his second try of the day.
The next try, Harlow’s thirteenth involved Freddie again and Owen who between them created space for Jack Rushworth to use his speed and score his second.
Jack was on a bit of a confidence high at this point, he picked up the ball from a ruck in the far left of the pitch going blind to bust a tackle and outpace the defence to the line.
Lots of fast rucking and ball re-cycling creates space to pick and run into which is exactly what Jamie Oliver did to score his try and Harlow’s fifteenth.
At this point it is worth noting that Brandon Jackson had been playing at number 8 for Canvey in the second half made some excellent try saving tackles showing he just wanted to play rugby and get stuck in no matter what the colour of his shirt or the number on his back. A commendable approach and performance, some say he was even the Canvey man of the match, albeit voted by for by Harlow players.
Harlow kept pushing sniffing more tries, the forward dominance at the break down was creating great space for the backs as they drew in more and more players to the close defence. This allowed Joe Court to grab a couple more tries from full back taking his total for the game to four.
The final try of the game was a crowd favourite, Jacob Morgan tore the ball from the opposition arms in his own half, this is something he has been doing all season but what followed was very different. He bounced through a couple of defenders and found himself in open space and nothing in front of him, quite a lot of people both on and off the pitch started to shout “Run Jacob” which he did! He slowed as he reached the 22 meter line quickly realising this wasn’t the try line picked up little more pace to make it to the try line and ground for his first try of the season.
A big hand must go to the Canvey Island team who stuck at it all the game and didn’t stop their efforts.
Our thoughts now move onto Wednesday’s training and next week’s game. Competition for places in our starting team is hot! We can see this is positively effecting the attitude and focus as everyone wants to play. With more competition with additional players joining us and good players coming back from injury like Corey Kelman, Teddy Keys-Kidd and Montelle Levy, boys will need to continue to work hard and take their chances when they come. Please make sure your availability is up to date in SportMember our team management app, particularly as we know some will be on a Scout camp for next week’s game against Epping Upper Clapton.
Harlow Man of the Match:
Jack Rushworth, special mentions from the team for both Archie Goodger and Jacob Morgan for impressive contributions throughout the game.
Tries: Joseph Williams, Danny Billington, Joe Court (4), Henry Stovell, Owen Eynon (2), Jack Rushworth (3), Brandon Jackson (2), Callum Hewett (2), Jamie Oliver, Jacob Morgan
Referee: Canvey Island
1. Joseph Williams, 2. Archie Goodger, 3. Jacob Morgan, 4. Callum Boyce, 5. Brandon Jackson, 8. Jamie Oliver, 9. Jack Rushworth. 10. Henry Stovell (Captain), 11. Joe Court, 12. Danny Billington, 13. Owen Eynon, 14. George Snowdon, 15. Freddie Adams Subs switched in an out all game Tobie Westbrook, Charlie Jacques, Callum Hewett