Haringey Rhinos v Hertford 13 January 2019
Haringey Halt Hertford Hart
Haringey Rhinos v Hertford 13 January 2019
The boys (and some parents) were eagerly looking forward to the encounter at White Hart Lane and the first game of 2019. The crowds milling around the ground gave further excitement, until it was pointed out that they were there for the Haringey Sunday market.
The players arrived early and located the pitch, changing rooms and clubhouse in preparation for the arrival (politely late) by the team coaches of Barlow and White double act.
Some of the parents took the pre-match opportunity to find the only local food outlet in Haringey Sunday market with a quick visit in order to ensure that they had the energy to survive through the entire game.
After warming up on the flat pitch with a cross wind, the Hertford team moved over to the match pitch and elected to kick off into the wind and play uphill. The weather was windy, overcast but dry. The ref was in pink and the crowd of almost 200 eagerly anticipated what promised to be an enthralling match.
After a great Hertford kick-off, Haringey made a break down left followed by the right-hand side for the first try. 5-0 to the hosts and a wake up call. After both sides electing for some scrum practice in the middle of the pitch with the ref laying down the law, some good Hertford passing ensued in the opposition half between Swatton and Cameron and forward play of Manning and White saw the ball whistle across to Archie Anstead on the right-hand side to go over in the corner for a try. That’s more like it, 5-5.
A couple of knock-ons were traded with some more scrum practice. A great pick up by Patrick Sullivan from a scrum followed by a weaving, scything 25-yard run defeated the opposition defence to allow Patrick to score under the posts. 5-10
Aggressive rucking by Haringey led to a Hertford knock-on. A scrum won against the head by Hertford Jake Crisp led to clever work down the right, stopped by a forward(ish) pass picked up by the ref. Another scrum against the head won by Hertford, a good break by Brendan McCarthy, fed left, but failed by a knock-on. Gave the advantage for a breakaway try by the fast Haringey centre then equalled the score. 10-10
Some good Hertford interplay, but a knock-on foiled us again. Excellent work by the Hertford centres led to Tommy Bowden scoring in the corner. Hertford went in at halftime up 10-15 to the good.
Half Time: With Hertford Coach White relishing motivating the Hertford team with his wise words at half time, Coach Barlow discussed tactics with the ref.
Hertford were now playing downhill and downwind. Some good Hertford forward play moved the play into the opposition half. Harvey Tenant putting his body on the line for the cause. Up to the opposition 22. Loading the left hand side almost bought the next try, but another knock on.
Haringey were pinned in their own 22. Hertford tried a quick tap stopped by ref. Good to see the boys trying to keep the opposition on their toes. More good work in the middle by Cameron and Guy, but a resulting drive was stopped for an injury. Scrum to restart game. Knock-on stops attack.
The crowd were commenting on neck ache from looking in the same direction for so long when .... Hertford went into a bit of purple patch and seemed to switch off the tackle button…. an another breakaway try to Haringey and Six missed Hertford tackles allowed the hosts level it 15-15.
Hertford kick-off to the previous Haringey try scorer who tore back through the Hertford defence and Seven! Hertford missed tackles to unload to his team-mate to score another and take the lead 20-15..
Hertford restart the game and that self-destruct button was engaged and with Four missed tackles. Haringey extended their lead. 25-15.
Good run through the middle by William Lang. Two excellent breaks down the right by Jake White stopped by two crunching tackles. Hertford recycled the ball to the middle of the park, with several good drives leading to a Jayden Woods try under the posts. 25-20.
5 minutes to play and the crowd were tense. Could Hertford equal?
Hertford put in some good work down the right through Oscar Porch winning a penalty. A strong run down the middle this time and another penalty. A series of pick and goes were deployed, and a Hertford forward scored (nobody could see who??), but that was straight off the training paddock. 25-25
What a comeback. Now could Hertford clinch the game…?
Hertford continued to work the ball forward. Hertford awarded a penalty inside the Haringey 22 for a Haringey forward coming over the top. The ball was work down the left but another Hertford knock-on. Nooooooo. Inches to go in left hand corner. Freddie Manning has a go from short range. William Lang has a go from short range but pushed into touch. This time the hosts defend the close quarters and Haringey breakaway into the Hertford half. A Hertford high tackle stops their progress, but Haringey score a try with some good running. 30-25.
Good hospitality from the home team, with yellow and red soup on offer with bread rolls. The Hertford Coaches were in there like a flash.
A really good match, where Hertford played as a team throughout, but were beaten by three "big fast lads" and our own inability to tackle when it matters most. A game that got away and what could’ve been.
Many thanks to sports reporter David Lang from the “Lane”, and Faye Crisp for shirt washing duties. Much appreciated.