Nine try Grinstead win at Heathfield
Great rugby played on hot day at Heathfield
With a few players carrying knocks we took the opportunity to rest a few players this week and give some of the squad a run out. With Heathfield looking a different squad with a few college boys available it looked like we would be in for a competitive game. We started real well and had scored two tries inside five minutes. The first came after superb running in the centre from Tom Sandys, who crashed through a tackle then beat a man on the outside before running fifty metres into the twenty two. He offloaded but got the ball back and crashed over to finish what he had started. The second was another huge run. This time it was from Hulst who picked the ball up just outside his own twenty two. He crashed through one tackle and showed great pace to run down the touchline beating the cover defence to score under the posts. Whiteman missed both conversions. The game became evenly contested with a lot of penalties awarded. From one penalty we kicked to the corner to set up an attacking line out. A beautiful executed back peel saw Perry crash over for the third of the afternoon. Whiteman not having his best day odd the tee missed again. Heathfield struck straight back with a penalty of there own. A well kicked penalty from the ten metre line.
For the remainder of the half we created lots of opportunities and the back line continued to break through after strong phase play from the forwards. In the pack Bridges, playing at tight head for the first time, was having a cracking game and carrying hard. Sandys in the back line looked unstoppable at times and we moved the ball through the hands really well. We scored three more tries before half time all for the back three. First Carr got his first of the day after great hands put him clear. Whiteman converted. Next Poole beat his man on the outside and put his foot on the gas to score in the corner. Swadling missed the conversion. Lastly, Whiteman finished off a brilliant move having created space back in his own half and supported well to get the pass back and score. Swadling converted. The scoring for the first half wasn't over and Heathfield game back into the game with a converted try as the young fly half put the centre through a gap and he stepped the full back to run under the posts. Half time score was 34-10.
Halftime we talked about keeping our intensity and tempo in the game and using the pace out wide as much as we could. Kiernan replaced Oliver and Champain replaced Burger. Heathfield started the second half well and got the first points of the half with a converted try after seven minutes of the half. More changes with Unsworth replacing Funnell, Lear replacing Perry, Brooke replacing Whiteman and Burger replacing Gray. We started to build again with strong scrummaging and phase play. Our next score came after we spun the ball wide and Poole with about four players in front of him shimmied and stepped his way through and sprinted down the line to score his second of the day. Swadling converted. A few opportunities came and went with the final pass being knocked on with the line beckoning. We had to wait until the final ten minutes for our next score. First Carr showed great pace and skill to beat a man on the outside and cruise under the posts. He then completed his hat-trick with an excellent support line and burst through the hole a step the full back to finish the scoring for the day. Swadling missed both conversions. Final score was 51-17.
Head Coach Rhodri Lewis said,' Heathfield were stronger today than we played them at home and we had rested a few, so I was delighted with how the guys stepped up and we still played some excellent rugby. What pleases me most is that we are now a scoring threat in both the forwards and backs. Seven of the nine tries today came through the backs with the wingers and full back getting six of those. We have worked hard to develop our back play and utilise the pace we have out wide so it was great to see that today. I was delighted with the pack again and in particular Dave Bridges who has converted in to a prop in recent weeks and was absolutely brilliant today both in the set piece and open play. Alongside him I felt Tome Sandys had his best game of the year and was a huge carrier in the back line today. Joint man of the match awards for them'.
This week we are in the semi final of the Sussex Plate cup semi final against Chichester 3s at home, 230pm kick off. The seconds are also at home in the semi final of the Sussex Vase completion against Hellingly 2s, 130pm kick off. Its a big couple of weeks as the following week the first team could seal the league title with victory over Ditchling, it will be a tough and exciting game against the second place team. We hope you can join us and support the teams.