Narrow loss to Petersfield
Great second half performance almost seals a comeback win!
Today was our final game of the regular season, a home fixture against Petersfield. After the 48-7 mauling from the away fixture back in February the lads were challenged to put in an improved performance, however, Petersfield managed to take advantage of their opportunities and ran in three unanswered tries in the first half. It wasn’t that we were playing badly, just that things weren’t going right. We were too ambitious in attack and were forcing the game rather than setting the ball up for the next phase. Score at half time was 19-0 and another drubbing could have been on the cards.
The second half was a different story and moves that didn’t work in the first half seemed to click. The forward pack came out looking more determined and started to work well as a unit, whether securing our own ball or stealing theirs at the rucks. Our first try came from Charlie who received the ball after some good midfield passing and a solid Heathens scrum. James kicked the conversion and the score was 19-7, was a comeback on the cards I wondered?
One of our best moves came next with a good line break from Will who passed to Charlie and from the ruck James picked up and made further ground before passing to Oscar. Oscar drove the ball further up-field and off-loaded to Josh who looked like he would get through their last line of defence. Unfortunately for Heathens, Petersfield put in a great hit on Josh and the ball was knocked on. It was great to see the backs and forwards combining in attack and if we had scored then it would have been game on!
An unlikely victory then seemed much further away when Petersfield moved the ball out wide from a scrum and despite Will and Oscar putting in some good tackles, they scored out wide. A missed conversion meant the score was 24-7 to Petersfield.
With around ten minutes to go Heathens picked up the intensity even further, Lewis secured a loose ball and from the ruck Will made a run up the left hand side. The crowd thought it was a certain try but the Petersfield full back managed to haul him down about 7m from the line. A good offload off the floor to Joe looked like he would score but Petersfield managed to bring him down but gave away a penalty on the 5m line. With a massive overlap on the right, that we duly ignored, Lewis tapped and ran towards the line. He was brought down but laid the ball back for Dom who picked up and crashed over for Heathens’ second try. A missed conversion by our loaned Petersfield player, all for a bit of fun, showed the good relationship between the two clubs and also put a smile on the players faces. Score 24-12.
Heathens were playing the best rugby of the season now and despite Petersfield regaining possession after the restart, Joe made a cracking tackle that caused a knock on. From the scrum Zack moved the ball to Jake who passed to James and then to Charlie who skirted around their defence and scored on the right. The conversion was missed but with the final whistle blowing all the Heathens had a huge smile on their faces. Final score 24-17 to Petersfield.
Despite the loss, the lads can be so proud of their performance, especially the second half. To win the half by 17-5, against a quality team like Petersfield, shows just how far the lads have come in one season. One day we won’t give the opposition a three try head start and we will start beating the big clubs! Charlie was named man of the match today but all the guys played really well.
As a coach I am so proud of the team and the way they have developed and I’m looking forward to the tour in just a few weeks. It looks like presentations will be done next Sunday. Unfortunately I can’t be there but just want to say well done to all of you for your hard work throughout the season!