MK Colts End Season with Win
Mens Own Colts 12 - 22 MK Colts
Mens Own Colts 12 – 22 Milton Keynes Colts
Mk colts travelled the short distance to Mens Own on Sunday morning. Having already played and lost to Mens Own twice this season already, all be it in 2 very close games Mk were in no mood to be on the losing side for the 3rd time.
In the warm up MK had a very positive edge about them, looking and feeling sharp going into the match, MK started with a bang that M.O were unable to live with. With just 4 minutes on the clock Zack Manuel glided through the defence after some great work by the pack and smooth handling from the backs. George Wyld nailed the tricky conversion to make it 0 – 7.
MK were relentless in their attack and ferocious in defence with good tackles from Dan Summers, Arthur Hurren and the tireless Rob McGeechan. However with MK hunting the tries, M.O defence was holding firm and with 3 good turnovers in side their 22m zone, MK knew they would have to step up their clear out at the ruck if they wanted to stretch their lead.
In a bizarre turn of events, Rob McGeechan was yellow carded as a team offence for holding the ball of the floor. A bemused touch line, coaching staff and opposition were unable to see the referees point of view.
With the extra player M.O were now smelling blood and pushing hard to get themselves on the score board but turnover king Tom Erasmus was not to be outdone and was over the ball time and again winning it back.
In discipline and silly decisions started to cost MK and with M.O needing just the smallest of chances they scored but missed the conversion to bring the scored to 5 – 7.
Both teams were looking dangerous but MK seemed to adapt a never quit attitude and could have folded at any moment, but with a strong defence continuing and hard lines of running it was a pulsating end to the half, with MK on top but unable to make the final pass stick. Dan Summers how many hands on the ball to pass??
HT Mens Own 5 – MK 7.
MK brought on some new legs with Fabian Wallace coming on in the back row as well as Ben Mitchell at 10 for the impressive Sam Harris. Ben Molloy, Alex Browne and the bulk of Dan West coming on to sure up the scrummage area.
With a quick try at the beginning of the 1st half and even quicker try and the beginning of the second half was just what MK needed. Putting pressure on at the restart forced Mens Own into a knock on. From the resulting scrum, going forward now, the backs ran a blindside move, and with the ball in George Wyld’s hands, he beat the first defender, chipped over the cover defence and raced in to score a very impressive individual score. The extras were missed but MK now had a cushion to work with. 5 – 12
The 2nd half ebbed and flowed with both teams making good yards with ball in hand but it was M.O who started to look more dangerous and getting on top in territory. MK defended their line for well over 7 minutes, and M.O were throwing everything at them, but good quality tackles and aggressive rucking was winning the battle for MK.
MK knew that it would take a big effort to break down their defence and with that they turned defence into attack and with pressure being applied constantly it was MK who scored next. Great work in defence meant that the attack marched towards the M.O line and some very good handling gave Ollie Ridgeway 10 meters of space and he bundled his way over the line to score with what seemed line half of the opposition on his back.
MK now had the go forward they wanted and indiscipline from M.O gave MK the opportunity of 3 points. Unfortunately the ball sailed agonisingly wide of the left hand upright and M.O cleared their lines.
Some more changes to MK brought Forbes, McGeechan and Manuel back into the battle for the final 15 mins although they were powerless to stop M.O from scoring and although MK repelled wave after wave of attack, it was good rucking and a very low drive from their forwards allowed their 6 to crash over. 12 – 17
7 minutes remaining in the game and M.O had their tails up but MK were in no mood to allow the lead to slip and went hunting for their 4th try. After some great runs from Wallace, Summers, Hurren got MK on the front foot and with pressure building they worked the ball wide, a great switch from Tom Erasmus allowed him time and space to crash through a tackle to score. No more than Erasmus deserved for his years on service in black and white.
4 minutes left, can MK hold on?? Your damn right they can. More solid defence and even more great work at the break down (as well as a very dubious decision from the man in the middle disallowing an M.O try, no one understands why) relieved the pressure MK were under and with Jamie Selevster knocking the ball into touch, the final whistle sounded and MK got the win they deserved.
In a very entertaining game, of which both sides contributed massively too, it was MK who stood firm and with the work rate, determination and fire in their bellies is what got MK over the finish line to end a tough season on a high.
Congratulations to Tom Erasmus on his man of the match performance. With 7 turn overs and a try that secured the win, Tom was different class on Sunday.
Thank you to all of the players, parents, coaches / manager and supporters of the colts this season who have worked tirelessly in a very difficult season. Everyone at MK wished the U18s all the very best as they head off to pastures new, whether that is continuing to play for the seniors, going off to uni, into full time employment or lazing around we are looking forward to seeing you all in the black and white again soon.