Hampshire Bowl Quarter Finals
Semi Finals here we come!
A cold, grey morning greeted us for our epic journey to the IoW today. Well done to the team just for getting out of bed on time! After some much needed time together to run through some drills we made a belated start at 1050.
A fine kick off from Jake gave Josh N and James time to put pressure on the catcher and a mistake gave Dom a chance to make some yards before it was passed out to the backs. Charlie the made a sweeping run out right and showed his pace to go over and score Heathen’s first try. A tough conversion was missed so the score was 5-0.
After the restart Charlie made another good run down the left hand side. F&V had some good cover defence and despite a good pass to Jake on the wing he was shepherded into touch for a F&V line out. From the line out the home team made their way steadily up field but a good tackle by Will in the midfield followed by a rip gave us possession just inside their 10 metre line. Will then ran down the right hand side and after a couple of hand offs, he touched down about 15 metres in. James’ conversion was successful and the score was now 12-0 to Heathens.
We were dominating just about every aspect of the game and could have started to run away with it. Unfortunately our discipline seemed to fall away and a succession of three penalties gave away about 70 metres and F&V managed to score out wide on their right. The conversion was missed so it was 12-5 to Heathens.
The try did give time for Heathens to regroup behind the posts and it wasn’t long before we were back on the score board. Another turnover gave us possession near the F&V 22 and Dom broke through to score our third try. This time the conversion was missed, 17-5 to Heathens. Despite some good defensive pressure, we gave away a penalty on F&V’s 22, which allowed them to relieve the pressure. From the line out they passed the ball out wide and if it wasn’t for a great tackle by Jayden they could have had their second score. Luckily the ball was knocked on and it was a Heathen’s scrum.
After half time there were lots of minor injuries that meant the forwards had to switch positions with Oscar playing front row, second row and flanker at different scrums. These forced changes had a negative effect on our forward paly and with F&V using their bigger runners more effectively we were put under a lot of pressure and F&V were the first to score in the second half. The conversion was missed so the score was 17-10.
There now followed a long period where F&V were camped in our 22. At one point they made it over the line only to be held up. Heathens remained solid at the scrum and despite around 10 phases on our try line F&V couldn’t get over our line. The defence was determined and resolute and in the end a loose pass ended up being intercepted by Dom who managed a 20 metre run up field. This was followed by a good kick by Will and the pressure was relieved when F&V knocked on and we had an attacking scrum on their 10 metre line.
This huge effort in defence seemed to lift the whole team and the rest of the game saw Heathens with most of the possession. There was one dangerous move by F&V but fantastic tackles by Connor, Josh and Oscar meant that the move came to nothing and Heathens won the ball back. The game was rounded off by another break from Dom who touched down to the right of the posts. A solid conversion from James led to a final score of 24-10 and we could all breathe a sigh of relief.
Charlie was nominated as Man of the Match by F&V with Dom and Will getting a special mention by their coaches. From our point of view we also want to mention Xander and James. Both had really good games and did immense work in defence.
Next week is a friendly (no such thing) away at Gosport. We will be able to measure how far we have come this season and if we play with the same commitment we should be able to get a result. We must remember our discipline though and listen to the referee. All parents and coaches had a great day and agreed it was well worth the ridiculously early start. Well done lads!