Match Report Old Brentwood 2nd XV vs Runwell 1st XV
DOTD – N/A (Great performance from all players)
MOTM – Ed Gooday
Old Brentwood’s 2nd XV travelled away to Runwell 1st XV on an overcast Saturday afternoon, hot off the back of a comeback win against Romford we were confident coming into the game. Lining up with a full strength squad of 20, it was clear what sort of game Runwell had turned up to play with some huge forwards and equally sizable backs it was going to be a tough tackling game.
Kick off at 3pm, OBRFC receiving the kick gathered the ball under immense pressure from the pack of Runwell we lost ground and were pushed back into our own 22. With the forwards trying to make some headway the ball was turned over and the ball shipped down to the left wing by Runwell who used their bigger players to get over the line and score a try under the posts. Within this first 5 minutes we learnt a lot about Runwell’s style of play, we decided that we couldn’t match them upfront but could definitely beat them with our pace and more mobile team.
With OBRFC restarting the game our forwards charged up the field to challenge for the ball, gathering and providing the ball back to Rhys Newton who was starting scrum half for the first time this season. Getting clean ball out to the backs was key, Adam Grace and George Jardine distributing well getting the ball out wide to Senna Ahmet who ran/danced from the half way line through and around several of the Runwell players to score under the posts. Aaron Knapp stepped up for kicking duties, scuffing the conversion and dipping under the cross bar.
The restart we continued to apply quick fast pressure with our forwards dodging and breaking tackles, making our way up the pitch with great forwards play from Ed Gooday and Stu Sullivan. With the forwards being clever about their play and now dominant scrum we pushed our way up the field, the backs were released and ball was spread wide to Niall Hooper and Phil Hardy however they were unable to get over the line and the ball was kick up field and out for a line out by Runwell.
Gathering the line out OBRFC continues to apply the pressure and the momentum of the game was in our favour, Ed Gooday breaking the line taking 3 players to get him down and a cheeky offload to Josh Turrell running a great support line to run 10 yards to get over for the try. The conversion was made by Aaron to make it 7-12.
After this it seemed that Runwell were to get a second wind and were applying the same pressure they had in the first few minutes, causing the ball to spill out the back of a ruck and go loose, Runwell were the quicker team to react and got over the line to bring. Following this confusing at the restart allowed them to put another quick try together going around the ruck and down the right wing for the try.
Once Old Brentwoods had regained possession we looked for strategic field position and move ourselves up the pitch, getting deep into the opposition half the with a penalty kick too touch from Adam Grace, the forwards decided to call an attacking move with Ed Gooday storming around the rear of the line out and crashing over the try line with a long reach of the arm. Finishing the half 19-26 to OBRFC.
Half time and Old Brentwoods made some changes to get fresh legs on the field, bringing on the likes of Sam Cousins, Luke Tilly and Wally. We were looking confident in the opening exchanges with the big pack of Runwell, with the forwards applying pressure Luke Tilly made some great yards and crashed over the line but only for the ref to call held up.
We continued the momentum with the replacements bringing energy in the team, applying pressure in the right areas of the park. A line out in the Runwell half allowed Rhys Newton to dodge, duck, dive and step his way through for a try. A missed conversion meant that we were 19-31 up.
Again Runwell seemed to get the wind and momentum behind them, with their big running front 5 making yards and pushing Old Brentwood deep into our half. Big collisions between the two packs of forwards weren’t enough to stop the ensuing pressure. The OBRFC defence was steady but camped in our own half. With too many hands in the ruck the penalty count against us increased and with this the pressure growing, a scum 10 meters out the 8 picked and went at Aaron Knapp who caught and elbow to the face but stop the runner keeping the ball outside the 5 meter channel. With a HIA assessment complete play was resumed and a line out to Runwell created pressure with forwards in midfield another collision between Aaron & the 8, this time holding the player up and the Brentwood pack getting behind and pushing the maul back away from the line. Following this play Aaron was removed following further concern for concussion symptoms, and George Jardine moved back into midfield with Sim Kooper.
Camped on the 5 meter and try line for much of the last 35 minutes of play we were unable to stop Runwell from using their big runner to get over the line. With only glimpses of the game play and shape that had got OBRFC the lead and confidence they had shown throughout the match, they were continued to be pinned back after each play with the referee penalising the team numerous time for hands in the ruck as we tried to turn it over. In the final moments of the game, Runwell crashed over the line to bring the scores level to 31-31 and OBRFC team preparing for the chase down of conversion. The ball went through the post with the last play of the game finishing 33-31 to Runwell.
Overall it was a hard fought game with OBRFC unlucky to come away with the loss, however with a young team on our hands this season we expect our confidence and skill will improve week in week out and we look forward to hosting Runwell at Ashwells road in the future.
DOTD – N/A (Great performance from all players)
MOTM – Ed Gooday (Always creating great attacking platforms & momentum from the forwards)