Harlequins RFC vs Hertford RFC U13Bs – Sunday 30/9/18
Hertford on top as Harlequins Stoop under pressure
Match Report: Hertford on top as Harlequins Stoop under pressure.
Under 13s Harlequins B 15-20 Hertford B
Tries: Tsangari (2), Porch, Evans
What a glorious sunny day in southwest London, just a stone’s throw from HQ. The weather much improved from the cold and wet last week. The U13 B team faced first time opponents Harlequins in perfect conditions.
The Quins kicked off and Hertford quickly showed their intent by moving the ball swiftly across the pitch. Hertford won the first scrum of the day and kept pressing against a strong Harlequin defence.
The Quins game plan (get the ball to the big lad) was put into action and they scored their first try within 3 minutes.
Max caught the restart and made the first of many barrelling runs into the defensive line. Kyle was showing his strength and Joseph hitting numerous rucks. Finley and Freddy Morris were making great defensive tackles as the Quins attacked again. Hertford soon moved the ball into the opposition half. Quins won it back, but the strong and coordinated Hertford defence kept them pinned back.
From a restart Hertford again moved the ball quickly across the field, forming a maul on the far side. Quins kicked a loose ball which was then knocked on. Hertford’s forwards had the shove in the scrum again, Ted and Freddie Morris were making darting runs.
Hertford were again holding the Quins on their own 22, Oscar Porch wrestling any passing winger into touch and Owen recycling the ball from the base of the ruck. This period of Hertford pressure paid off and Jason crossed the whitewash on 15 minutes to even the score at one try each.
Any jubilation was quickly dampened as Quins ‘got the ball to the big lad’ and he crossed again just sixty second later, score now 10-5.
Ted was solid under the kick-off but the Quins pressed and won the ball. Ollie Chapple worked hard all day, disrupting and forcing knock-ons. Hertford scrum, 5m out. Quins won the ball and cleared with kick from their own try line, this was followed it up and they score again on 19 mins. 15-5.
As play got back underway Hertford were award a penalty. Owen took it quickly and Hertford’s class began to show, the ball moved effortlessly through the hands, Ollie drawing in defenders and then passing out from the tackle. Hertford won a scrum for the last play of the half. The ball whizzed from right to left wing in a passing masterclass by the back division, before they were eventually squeezed into touch a few metres out.
Half-time analyst Colin Chapple was energised by the rugby on display saying, “We had all the possession and territory”.
Harlequins made wholesale changes during the break whilst the Hoe Lane boys were managing with one sub. Coach Robbie’s team talk got the boys pumped up and ready to go for the second half.
From the off, Joseph was in the thick of it, hitting rucks and winning the loose ball - creating a good passage of play that lead to Hertford’s second try by Oscar within 2 minutes of the restart.
Hertford’s confidence was up, Oscar and Ted were both enjoying the perfect conditions, chasing every kick and tackling the full back into touch winning vital territory. The Forwards were now making themselves known, both Tommy and Max showing their power as they hit the defence time after time. This pressure paid off and Ted grabbed the ball and reached out like Mr Tickle to score Hertford’s third (30mins) from about 5 metres out.
Quins were now fighting back, showing strength with attacking and recycling the ball, however, Hertford’s defence held with Jason shooting out of the line like a rocket. When they did break through, Isaac at full back was tested with a couple of one-on-ones but held firm to bring his man down. This was end-to-end stuff, Hertford’s passing was slick through the hands and Tommy showing a graceful off-loads from the tackle.
A scrum to Quins gave them the chance to rotate their players again and bring on rested legs. A few high tackles were flying in from Quins breaking up play. Freddie Abbot and Woody were working hard around the ruck and Hertford’s front division we’re now winning scrums against the head.
Jason was again making scything runs across the pitch, and the backs were showing yet more elegant passing. The skill and teamwork came together for Jason to cross the line for his second try on 44mins.
In a fabulous individual effort, Ted cleared long ball from his own half, chased it the length of the field and made a strong tackle on the catcher giving Hertford yet more territory.
In a crazy few minutes under the posts Quins tried to clear their lines and they saw the ball bounce around like it was a game of netball, footballs arriving from the pitch next door and the ref knocking the ball into touch in goal.
By now Hertford now had the measure of Quin’s big lad, frequently committing 4 or 5 tacklers to slow him down. In a rare moment of indiscipline, Hertford were marched back ten metres by the ref for backchat, a lesson for the future. As the clock ran down the Hertford team was in full defence mode as Quins recycled the ball, eventually knocking it on.
So, Hertford had a scrum on their own five metre line with seconds to spare. Finley made a promising break before the full time whistle blew.
Final score 15-20.
A thrilling game to watch! A great team effort with slick passing and strong defence.
Well done team, a well-deserved win.
Many thanks to our sports reporter Mark Evison for another thoroughly good matchday account.