Enfield come good and edge out Harlow in a very tightly contested morning of rugby in which only one try separated the teams across all three games .
1st game - Lost 20-5
2nd game - Drew 15-15
3rd game - Won 10-30
Our thanks to Andy, Richard and the Harlow team for organising a thoroughly enjoyable contest in which both teams played some fantastic rugby and showed off some great skills combined with a lot of courage and determination in defence.
Enfield are nothing if not consistent, and so the normal slow start saw us well beaten by a powerful Harlow side who took full advantage of the lack of tackling by the Enfield players, although Anthony Corbett did his best to cover for the rest of team with several text-book low tackles on boys who were larger and heavier than him. A single try by Austin Lutwyche meant we got on the score sheet, but despite some of our best passing and offloading to date, the boys learnt that you can’t win a game of rugby without an operating defensive line. Oliver Bourton in the centres was never far from the ball in support and received several offloads from players in contact, simply because he was supporting from deep and making himself available.
However, ‘continuous improvement’ is one of our key goals this season and the boys rallied to the call after the first game and came out an different outfit, competing at the breakdown and starting to tackle although there was still room for improvement. William Gallo was his normal self, a whirling dervish in attack and a limpet in defence and Louis Sellick began to impress himself upon the opposition. Both ran in tries, as did Austin Lutwyche, but again, our passing game was what brought a smile to the faces of the spectators, with Joe Sear unlucky not to score having received a pass from a turnover on our own line and running 50 metres up the pitch to relieve the pressure before the Harlow covering defence finally roped him in.
The third game was the one where it all came together though. The forwards following a lecture on their continuing defensive frailties proved they could tackle after all and Nathan Clifford and Sid Galvan stepped up to the mark in style showing controlled aggression in the tackle, ruck and maul. Liam Dixon drove players backward in the contact zone, Myles Powell showed off his ’pick-and-go’ skills in the loose and Elliott Ullah finally started dominating in the maul. And with the forwards winning ball, Austin Lutwyche, Max Getling and Louis Sellick treated their parents to a brace of tries each as they ran in points from all over the pitch, with a combination of mazy running skills and brute force as they either hit the ball at pace or found holes in the tiring Harlow defensive line.
To sum up, there was clearly very little between the two sides over the three games, but it was encouraging to see both sides competing hard and trying harder. From an Enfield perspective, we improved as the morning went on and finally hit our stride in the last game. To see two sides playing the standard of rugby they did was a real treat for both sets of spectators and all the players should be proud of their performance and the effort they so obviously put into all three games.