Haringey Rhinos get their first win of the season!
A much deserved win for the men's 1st team!
Haringey welcomed first place Mill Hill to Perth Road knowing that a win was well overdue following two successive losses in their opening games. In perfect conditions, things got off to a perfect start, with the Rhinos stringing together a series of impressive phases after kick off to immediately put the visitors under pressure. With strong running form backs and forwards alike, the Rhinos marched down the field and flanker Ben Kelly scored in the corner with only a couple of minutes on the board. Fly Half Dan Rycroft duly added the extras.
Once more from kick off, the Rhinos put the visitors under pressure and whilst the opposition held firm, the home team’s early dominance at the scrum and lineout meant that Mill Hill were easily starved of possession. With more strong running across the field, Dan Rycroft was able to chip over the broken Mill Hill defence, allowing Captain Tom Shirt to chase through and score in the corner. With Rycroft injured in the celebrations, Hugo Murray stepped up to add the extras, with the kick missing by inches. Haringey were 12-0 up within the first twenty minutes of the game and were looking to add more.
Mill Hill however had other plans and soon started putting the Rhinos under pressure. Indiscipline at the ruck for the home team soon gave the visitors great field position and with second row Raimond Kripa shown a yellow for scrapping, the pressure began to tell. The Rhinos’ defensive effort was put to the test and whilst they managed to keep the visitors at bay with 14 men, a string of penalties eventually placed Mill Hill on the home team’s five metre line. The defence finally broke and Mill Hill opened their account, making it 12-7.
The Rhinos’ set piece was starting to crumble and with scrums and line-outs now going against them, the backs were denied the possession they desperately needed. With more penalties, Mill Hill were once again gifted great field position, once more crashing over form short range and taking a narrow 14-12 lead into the break.
The second half started frantically, with both teams struggling to hold onto the ball. Whilst good kicking from Hugo Murray kept the opposition at bay, the Rhinos were struggling to capitalise, whilst the same was to be said from Mill Hill. Huge defensive shifts were put in by both teams, with flanker Ben Kelly seemingly everywhere on the pitch and scrum-half Dan Cudlipp also putting in a huge shift. Eventually, as the visitors tired, the Rhinos started to string together some decent phases. Strong running from flanker Charlie Rigg, centre Dan Thomas and Number 8 Ben Watkins, soon had Mill Hill on the back foot. When eventually Mill Hill infringed at the ruck, Hugo Murray was on hand to score and put the Rhinos up by one point.
With the game coming to an end, the Rhinos were able to display their dominant attack and with mere minutes left, Hugo Murray was able to crash through the Mill Hill defence to score in the corner. With the conversion missed, the Rhinos were tasked with defending their 6 point lead for the remaining few minutes. Finally, with a nervy scrum on the halfway line, the Rhinos kept their head and when the ball was booted off the park, the celebrations began. FT Haringey Rhinos 20-16 Mill Hill.