Launceston end the season on a high after good win over much improved Wadebridge
Josh Elias powers up to make big impact and Alfie Hold produces another inspired performance as the Camels fight back in open contest
It was the last game of the regular season for the Launceston u15s on Sunday, away, against Wadebridge, the boys have played each other a good number of times this season, with Wadebridge looking more dangerous each time.
The Camel's line speed was much improved and they were putting plenty of numbers into the breakdown, the Launceston flankers were working hard for possession, however and keeping hold of the ball well, the phases were linking and Alfie Hold released Tom Lowe, who goose stepped his way through the defence and set up Billy Martin, who busted over from close range, the wind was gusting from all angles, making life difficult for the kickers, 0-5.
Despite some great carries from Jack Goodman and Finn Hilsdon, the Camels were having the best of it in the rucks and scrums at this stage, using their heavier pack to good effect, which saw them score out wide to level things up, 5-5.
Wadebridge continued to turn the screw and only a massive try saving hit from Finn Hilsdon stopped the Camels from numbering up out wide again. Instead, it was the All Blacks who put some phases of their own together, camped themselves on the Wadebridge line, until Jack Goodman picked up, unstoppable from a few metres out, Jack powered through, more wind shenanigans for Tom, pushing it a shade wide, 5-10.
The sun was a real problem for the Lanson kick receivers, shining right in their eyes and Wadebridge had cottoned onto this, putting up some high contestable restarts, the next score came quickly after one of these, with Launceston having a nightmare trying to regather and Bridge charging through to make it 10-10.
Just before halftime, the quick thinking Nicky Crighton took a quick tap, used his footwork to create enough space for the offload to Josh Elias (coaches man of the match), who came through on a great line, to bust over and make it 10-15.
Second half and more of the same, with whoever was in possession looking dangerous. The Launceston forwards were getting the upper hand at the breakdown now and forcing Wadebridge to hold on or seal off on the ground, a solid turnover from Freddie Ward and Finn Stiles gave Alex Maciver-Redwood a hole to break through and score under the posts, normal service resumed for Tom, 10-22.
Once again, a quality Camel's restart undid Lanson, who had no answer to the onrushing attack, 17-22.
The next score came from a solid double tackle from Adam Howgill and Freddie, with Freddie ripping the ball and then the pair setting up a series of rucks, ending with Alex going over for his second, 17-29.
Josh Elias was having a great game, not only some big defensive tackles, but also taking high balls and carrying really hard. The next score was all Tom Lowe, he caught the clearing kick and set off on a mazy run, then a couple more goose steps, before going round the defence on the outside, a great individual score and unlucky with the conversion, 17-34.
Wadebridge then came back again with some nice handling, 22-34.
Launceston tried to shut up shop in the latter stages, but the Camels never gave up and Lanson still had plenty to do defensively, with Adam Howgill putting in some huge man and ball tackles, as always, no-one goes past Alex and also, Alfie Hold (Captains man of the match), now out on the wing, stopped a few dangerous wide attacks, even dislodging the ball twice, with the ferocity of the hits.
Nicky Crighton, back at 9, was terrorising the Wadebridge defence, everything was done at breakneck speed and he was taking the ball to the line every time, with the pass coming at the very last minute, this gave Freddie the chance to pick up the ball from a flustered defence way inside his own half and race home under the sticks, to leave the final score 22-41.
Great performance here from Wadebridge and Lanson did well to beat them, really looking forward to the encounters next season. The boys wrap up their season at the weekend with a tour up to Camberley rfc, so watch this space.....
By Rich Stiles