With weather and pitch conditions considerably better than last week at Eastbourne we came into the match hopeful of showing signs of improvement following changes to the way we have trained since Christmas. We started really well and it was clear that there were plenty of players that wanted to impress. Ditchling fought hard and tried to make it scrappy at times but ultimately struggled to live with us when we played with pace and pattern. The forwards worked hard throughout to get quick clean ball with big carries and good ruck work which allowed the backline to move the ball well. The first half saw us cross the line five times with some excellent interplay from backs and forwards. Montagu picked up two with one a piece for Bridges, Cooke and Anderson. Cooke converted four from five.
Some changes at half time saw Perry and Pentney join the pack and their impact was instant and huge. The competition for places clearly creating hunger in the players to show they should be in the starting line up. The pair made huge carries with excellent running lines. Ailes, on his first team debut having joined prior to Christmas, was having an excellent game in the back row and linked up well with Arnold and Andrews. Crawley-Moore was making strong yards in the centres and the wingers looked hungry for work off the ball. We continued to create opportunities and we scored four more tries in the second half. Crawley-Moore got the first with a barnstorming run which was followed by Peaty with the second from a push over scrum. Further tries from Anderson and Andrews were added as the half progressed. Cooke converted three from four. With ten minutes to go in the half the as we looked for another try the game had to be stopped early as Anderson suffered a nasty leg injury and couldn't be moved, we hope he recovers well.
A strong performance from the team today and signs that we are starting to get our mojo back. It was great to see the competition for places and several players really showed what they can offer today. We have a few weeks now until the next league games and we have six games left to ensure we finish in the play off spot as a minimum. We will play home and away games against Hellingly, Uckfield and either Burgess Hill or Seaford who play their rearranged game this week to decide fourth and fifth position.
Quilter Kids First Champions winner – November: Hinckley RFC