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EG u14 - Match centre

Sun 12 Nov 10:00 - League Full time

Under 14's EG -v- Horsham

12/11/2017. U14s power to second league win. 47 – 0 against Horsham

12/11/2017. U14s power to second league win. 47 – 0 against Horsham

The second waterfall game of the season was away to Horsham, only a few weeks after going to them for a friendly. The previous game against them had been approached by Horsham as a development match for the squad players and so we didn't really know what they had up their sleeve for this league game.

We were also missing a few players due to Remembrance Sunday commitments and some injuries so we took everyone who was available and conjured up a side with a few players out of position, in particular Tommy Townsend at scrum half who was playing there for the first time since U9s.

The game kicked off with us playing down the slope but into the wind and it started at the expected fast pace with both sides fully committed at the breakdown. During the early phases we cleverly snuffed out an attack down Horsham's left wing and some quick thinking and fast footwork by James Bull from full back led to the opening try via a 40 sprint down the touchline.

A superb long conversion from Colm Geraghty took us to 7-0. Exactly the start we were looking for.

Horsham came back very strongly, pinning us back against our try line and at times the defence creaked but ultimately did not crack. Huge credit goes to Jon Jon for organising the players around him and leading from the front.

The first half ebbed and flowed without us managing to get out of second gear. Too frequently, we were too slow to the ruck, not strong enough in the clear out and not working as a unit. Often we were winning back possession through individual skills and opportunism rather than good teamwork.

With half time approaching, we got the ball out to midfield where Colm showed great strength and technique to hand off about three consecutive tackles for a try in the corner.

Half time = 12 - 0

Changes in personnel were made for the second half and the team was given instruction to increase their work-rate, commitment and power at the breakdown. We were bigger and stronger than Horsham and needed to make this tell.

Now playing up the slope, some strong runs led us into the Horsham 22 and we called for power. Who else therefore than Cameron Beeney to force himself over the line for the opening score of the half. Colm slotted the conversion for 19-0.

We pressed again, but “try line fever” showed its ugly face once more as each player approaching the ruck tried to pick and go himself before any sort of platform had been established. We need to learn quickly that tries will come much more easily if we lay the foundation, secure the ruck and play into space rather than always adopting the most direct approach.

After several failed pick and go attempts, Jon Jon drove for the line and was held up short but Tommy managed to pick up and dive over for the score under the posts. Colm made easy work of the conversion for 26-0.

The score-line was now out of reach for Horsham but they kept up their intensity. The rucks continued to be keenly contested and Horsham had their fair share of possession through the second half. A clean break through the middle from debutant Toby Hawes, successfully converted, took us to 33-0. We then attacked wide on a copule of occasions down the left wing and some good recycling by Fintan Healey kept the ball alive for Colm to stride through the midfield for 40-0.

Horsham continued to play and pushed extremely hard for a consolation try. Multiple penalties conceded by our forwards for hands in the ruck, offsides and entering from the side, all added to the pressure heaped upon us for the last 5 minutes. Finally, a penalty given in our favour gave us a chance to run it out. The pass to Toby gave him the space he needed to show exceptional pace to cruise through the Horsham midfield to run in the last try from a full 70 metres out. Colm confidently knocked over the conversion.

It wasn’t the most cohesive performance so far, but the boys can be immensely proud of the way they improved their work rate in the second half and played up the slope with aggression, commitment and desire.

Final score: East Grinstead 47 – 0

MOMs – Toby Hawes and Owen Peel. Great effort lads, although we couldn’t hear you during the rendition of Swing Lo in the club-house, some practice is definitely needed.

Many thanks to Horsham for hosting us again, and for the hospitality in the clubhouse. Keep up the singing and good luck for the tour in Wales if we don’t see you beforehand!

Quilter Kids First Skills Series: Hide the Attacker

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