H&D 5 - Woodbridge 11
Suffolk Chadacre Cup Quarter Final
Harwich Rugby entertained Woodbridge RUFC, from Eastern Counties 1, in this Suffolk Chadacre Cup Quarter Final match on Saturday. This would be a good test for an evolving Harwich team, since moving away from the Eastern Counties leagues last summer.
The opening exchanges were very even with neither side giving any quarter, but unable to exert any superiority. Both sides had a fair share of possession and territory. The game swung back and forth, with good running rugby, but with defences that matched the attacks. The Harwich forwards gained a slight upper hand in the forwards at scrum time, giving them some go forward. This was exploited by their outstanding Number 8 George Brunning, who caused the Woodbridge defence problems with several pick ups and runs from the scrum. He was ably assisted by his back row partners, Damien Smith and Gareth Sanders-Crook. Despite this the home team could not gain any advantage, possibly lacking some clinical finishing when in the right areas of the field. However the visitors were able to make some inroads into their hosts half. Having won the ball from a ruck Woodbridge made a good break following some sloppy tackling by the Harwich defence, which allowed the Woodbridge player to run into the Harwich 22. With good support the ball was off loaded and a well worked try put the visitors on the scoreboard. The conversion was missed. The game remained a bit of a stalemate up to half time with the visitors leading 0 - 5.
The second half saw the Harwich forwards start to dominate the away team at scrum time. The tight five of Hema, Cairns, Sewell, Woods and Leeks were pushing their opponents at most of the scrums, giving a good supply of ball. Brunning kept causing the defence problems with his strong runs. This gave the backs, lead by Sean Mills (Jnr), the opportunity to attack deep into the Woodbridge half. Centres Owen Cowley and Elliott Hawken were making powerful runs. Following some good interplay between backs and forwards, Hawken was able to force his way over the line from short range to bring Harwich level on the scoreboard, 5 - 5. Unfortunately the conversion was missed. The home team should have kicked on at this stage but were stopped by some decent defence from their visitors and some good attacks as well.
The game became a bit of a stalemate. Unfortunately it was Harwich who gave away a couple of kickable penalties in the last quarter, both of which Woodbridge were able to convert to take the lead 5 - 11. Harwich had a penalty of their own which was narrowly missed leaving Woodbridge with their six point lead and a deserved win.
Next Saturday Harwich are back in Essex League Shield action as they take on Dagenham at Low Road.