G’s Cruise past Crowborough
42 - 7
It was a good job we had started to find some form and team stability as Crowborough sent a very good and large side down to Saint Hill this week. Skippered by Grinstead old boy Jim Smith, the red and white stripes looked confident as they took to the pitch. Our warm up had been excellent however, and I knew our boys were up for this visit from our neighbours in a way I had not seen so far this season.
The first quarter was a cagey game of cat and mouse with no side quite breaking through, but then the G’s backs leaped into action in a sweeping move which resulted in Ben putting Gibbs away down the right for our first score, but it was ruled out for a very dubious forward pass. But G’s were now finding the holes and three quick fire scores, all converted by Cookie, really turned the screw. The first was a sumptuous score with a lovely one, two from Ben and Gibbs again, with the former trotting under the sticks. Straight from the restart, Pentney caught and drove forward using pace, power and footwork before off loading to Kiernan. It was then a joy to watch as our forwards, moving as a unit like a well oiled machine, battered down the pitch with the ball passing from player to player. The actual finish was a little less refined as a misplaced pass hit the grass, before bouncing into Ben’s hands for his second. The third was all about power as the brilliant Pentney drove over to leave the score at 21 - 0 at the end of the half and some lovely rugby played.
Although we talked about starting the second period well, as we knew Crowborough would come crashing out of the blocks, we really didn’t, and although we defended strongly, eventually the pressure told and the oppo 12 smashed over to score the first try of the half. I was really pleased how much this annoyed the boys though, and things were very quickly put right when Rob Banner flew through for our fourth. Some wonderful breaks from Banner, Halligey, Lampkin and Radcliffe kept things entertaining, but the ref’s whistle kept pulling us back until Ben again broke and, with support either side, a deft dummy and step saw him home for his hat trick. The scoring wasn’t done yet as Marriott put Morris away in the corner to end with the scoreboard showing a respectable 42 - 7, but more importantly the best G’s performance of the season against arguably the best opposition we have faced.
Not perfect by any means, but some really encouraging periods of rugby, made me very happy. Although I must give Man of the Match to Bengi for his triple, I remember every player on the pitch doing something really good in this match. Chris Pentney was superb in the first half and Rob Banner showed huge promise in attack and defence. James Stokes getting better and better at 9 and his half back partner Cookie taking the ball to the line in imperious fashion. Jambo Funnell was brilliant and led by example with huge hits and carries... I could go on - You were all excellent and no DOTD this week. Thanks boys!