Date: Sun 5th Jan 2020
Sunday 15th December – Westcliff u14s 36 Harlow u14s 22: Friendly
Today we travelled to Westcliff and their brand new ground and clubhouse. A little bit of a grey day and a welcome back to rugby in 2020.
The first half kicked off with in a lively manor with both sides testing the water with some powerful running and great work from both sides at the break down produced a number of turn overs both ways.
Harlow started to take control of the game by applying pressure on Westcliff forcing them deep into their half. Some close short running saw the Harlow pack power towards the Westcliff line with eventually Danny Billington crossing for the first score of the game.
From the kick off Westcliff offended, quick thinking from Jack Rushworth passed to Owen Eynon who put in a long wide pass to Tolu Ajibabi in a little space as he sprinted down the wing to outpace the defence and score in the corner.
From the next kick off it was Harlow’s turn to offend and a silly kicking the ball away meant Harlow were marched back 10 more yards. Westcliff built some pressure on the Harlow line and some post-Christmas lethargy saw the Harlow defence not be as tight and as fast as usual which put Westcliff in to score close to the posts, which Westcliff converted.
Harlow returned on the attack and briefly mended their defensive ways putting increased pressure on Westcliff. From this a number of pick and go attack put Ben Ferrier over the line. Tobie Westbrook converted to take the score to 5-17.
Westcliff upped their game leading into half time and crossed the line for a converted try taking the score to 12-17 at half time.
Half time 12 – 17.
At half time, the players talked about putting more pressure on the Westcliff side and closing down their space forcing mistakes. To do this they needed to up the work rate!
Mince pies, turkey, late nights all started to show in the second half and Harlow struggled to apply the pressure they desired. Westcliff took advantage and broke through the middle a number of times as the Harlow defensive line was disjointed. Westcliff started to build score board pressure by scoring a converted try early then another and another, taking the score from 12-17 in Harlow’s favour to a commanding 31-17 lead.
Harlow were able to foster an attack, when Harlow had the ball they looked dangerous and the energy returned. Some great play saw Joseph Pankhurst and Henry Stovell put George Snowdon in at the corner and close the gap to 31-22.
In the final stages as Harlow chased the game, Westcliff score the decisive try in the final play and ending the game 36-22.
Final Score 36 – 22.
In training this week, we need to work on our scrummaging and our defensive line speed to prepare to take on Eton Manor next week.
Special mentions: Montelle Levy, sadly fractured his tibia and fibula and we wish him a speedy recovery. Callum Boyce and Jack Rushworth worked tirelessly throughout the game.
Harlow Man of the Match: Not awarded this week.
Tries: Danny Billington, Tolu Ajibabi, Ben Ferrier, George Snowdon
Conversions: Tobie Westbrook
Referee: Coach from Wescliff
1. Felix Waugh, 2. Callum Boyce, 3. Max Bien (Sub Jacob Morgan), 4. Brandon Jackson, 5. George Snowdon, (Sub Ed Lea), 6. Jamie Oliver, 7. Ben Ferrier, 8. Danny Billington, 9. Jack Rushworth, 10. Joseph Pankhurst, 11. Montelle Levy (Sub Owen Eynon), 12. Tolu Ajibabi, 13. Henry Stovell, 14. Callum Hewett, 15. Tobie Westbrook
All players played half a game or more.