Launceston produce good team performance over much improved Okehampton
Alex Maciver-Redwood and Billy Martin are the cream of the crop as the All Blacks show better concentration, cohesion and continuity to score some excellent team tries
It was over the Devon border to Okehampton on Sunday for the Launceston u15s, to find Oke down to 14 players and keen to play a 6 man scrum, which left the Lanson flankers lining up with the backs at the set piece, wondering what world they'd entered with no shoving, grunting and smelly huge blokes.
The game was played at a decent pace, with Lanson stringing some quality together, resulting in Ben Webb going over in the corner, to settle things down, Tom Lowe was just wide with the conversion.
The all blacks took it right back to basics for their next score, really simple handling, at pace and Ollie Tomkies powered over. Bread and butter conversion for Tom this one. 0 - 12.
There's a great battle developing in the Lanson pack for "king of the hard yards" with Josh Elias, Josh Bakehouse, Kane Clements, Dylan Doherty and Jack Goodman carrying really well, Jack in particular went really well today, with loads of busts in midfield.
Okehampton had a purple patch towards the end of the half, but couldn't capitalize, mainly due to a much improved Launceston defensive effort, the coaches worked really hard with the boys Wednesday night and it showed, Okehampton couldn't breach the line. The half ended with Oke going through the hands and looking good, until Ben Webb came off the line like a train, grabbed the intercept, danced through from 60 metres, to dot down his second. Another great kick from Tom, to end the half 0 - 19
Okehampton came out for the second half firing, they worked their way up to the visitor's line, forcing a string of penalties, till the 13 went through the gap for their first converted score, 7 - 19.
Launceston had taken their foot off the gas so far this half, but now they floored it for the try of the day, Tom Lowe picked up the ball deep in his own half, stepped his way through 4 tackles before offloading, the handling from the backs was really sharp, with strike runners on great lines, Alfie Hold took the last pass and dived through the contact for the best try of the season, Tom converts, 7 - 26.
The Launceston tails were up now and another great try followed, a dominant all black scrum, bossed by Jake Glover drove Oke off their own ball, Billy Martin hooked it back really well under the cosh, the ball flew out, through the hands and Ollie Tomkies found nobody home to dot down another converted try.
Okehampton had the last say, with an unconverted close ranger.
Final score; 12 - 33.
Special mentions this week go to Alfie Hold who is looking really sharp in his new scrum-half role, Freddie Ward and Finn Stiles gave Okehampton nightmares at the breakdown, Freddie was everywhere, pouncing on everything in the loose, Tom Lowe and Sam Sharman for their clear-up work, Billy Martin earned coaches MOM for his scrummaging and all round performance, likewise Alex Maciver-Redwood, solid as ever for captain's MOM.
Also to Ben Webb, who, after scoring 2 cracking tries, decided to test his opposite number's nose by running into it full tilt with his own hooter. Great to see both boys up on their feet and smiling after treatment though.
Back at Polson next Sunday v Stonehouse Sharks, once again, should be interesting...
by Rich Stiles