Heath remain top of the Sussex A league and look certain to retain their fifth successive County title.
We arrived at East Grinstead on a windy but fine winter morning and spent the first 5 minutes discussing how much nicer their club house is than ours. A conversation undertaken at every away game(!). It was good to catch up with Mike Champain and his fellow coaches and we looked forward to a tough game against a bunch of very big East Grinstead boys.
Haywards Heath (captained by Tom Law) won the toss and elected to play with a strong wind. There was the expected tough forward confrontation, but Hayward Heath’s superior structure and discipline at the break down meant we won a lot of ball from which both Law and Harwood made excellent progress. However, it was rather pleasing that two trys came from forward “pick and drives”, an element of our game we have been trying to develop. Odell got two trys from these forward charges and we assume it was modesty (or jug avoidance) that prevented him scoring a third try when he ran through the dead ball area. Ure was everywhere as usual and at times wanted to take on all of his schoolmates single handed (many of whom were playing for EG). Ure did manage an excellent try down the blind side to ensure bragging rights come Monday morning. The forwards let the backs have the ball occasionally from which both Harwood and Easton capitalised with an excellent try each. We were then rather exposed by our shortage of subs (due a number of last minute dropouts). Easton went off with a groin injury and Law received a very nasty blow to the nose, which meant we ended up with Langdon (a flanker) on the wing and Ure (a no. 8) in the centre. Langdon did manage to gather the ball on the retreat and put the best spiral kick we saw all day 20 yards down the pitch and Ure was solid in defence. However, a fast and strong EG forward (I think) did manage to dance through some tired looking defenders to score under our posts. Nothing less than EG deserved.
A few mentions of note. Seaton started his second league game at scrum half and was once again excellent, showing both pace and vision. Stodart also played well at fly half giving us all a lesson on the benefits for his centres of quick, flat passing.
Many thanks to Mike and all our friends at East Grinstead for their hospitality. Thanks also to the referee “Phil”, who was excellent throughout.
A good, although not great performance from the boys. Well done to you all. However, work still needs to be done and we’ll be looking at this on Sunday during training.
Well done boys,