Against a very strong East Grinstead side who already look rock solid promotion contenders, Heath played with considerably more purpose than in their opening game defeat to Wimbledon the previous week. However you look at it a 59-3 loss is hardly uplifting, but there were a good number of positives to take from the game.
Scrummaging was generally solid – despite the loss of loose head prop Alex Fisher
though injury following a controversial incident in the fifth minute - with both sides using the wheel to disrupt the smooth flow of ball won. The line outs showed improvement though misunderstanding and cohesion issues impaired the flow in key attacking positions. Pace to the ruck and impact at it was more impressive. Heath’s pick and drive often set EGs on their heels and allowed the forwards to get behind the opposition. Tom Burns
and Harry Appleton
both impressed on their debuts and veteran Joe Feldman
worked hard on his return. From more secure possession, Heath were able to win territory and, for lengthy spells in the game, pressurised EGs with Nick Francis sniping from scrum half and Al Harle, Will Murrills
, Marc Cashman
and Josh Salisbury always asking questions of the home defence. Mistakes in key positions, however, all too often conceded position to East Grinstead who showed their capacity to exploit space from deep and to ask questions from close in.
A sizeable defeat founded on nine unanswered tries can’t, however, brook any argument. Having dispensed with pre season promotion favourites Basingstoke last week, East Grinstead are now in pole position. With Heath centre Quay injury side-lined after twenty minutes and flanker, Sam Drage
moving to the wing, defensive organisation waned. Whether feasting on quickly-won ruck ball or receiving free ball from Heath’s errors, EGs were ruthless in their execution with burly left wing Hunt finishing for a four try tally ably supported by strong support play and quick hands from all parts of the field. With seven conversions from nine, the scoreboard rattled along, though seven of the tris were confined to two spells in the middle of the first half and in the final ten minutes of the game. On a hot Indian Summer’s day it was shattering. EGs deserve congratulations for a display which confirmed their potential - but there’s enough there on which Heath can build in advance of their home game against Southampton’s Trojans next Saturday at Whiteman’s Green (KO 3.00 p.m. ) - before the sell out Diamond Jubilee Ball that evening.
), Huw Jenkins
), Chris Turner, Tom Burns
, Dan Shotton
, Sam Drage
, Al Harle, Ed Bowden
, Nick Francis, Owain Jenkins
, Marc Cashman
, Gareth Quay
, Harry Appleton
, Joe Feldman
, Will Murrills
. Replacement not used: George Snow