Old Brentwood II’s VS Harlow III’s
DOTD – Andy Parish (worst push ever seen in the history of rugby)
MOTM – James Sullivan (ball skills and tough tackling) [Pictured]
Old Brentwoods hosted Harlow III’s at Ashwells Road, in a first VS second clash of the Shepherd Neame Essex Merit Table 5. For the second week on the trot Old Brentwoods had some late arriving stragglers, with Harlow down on the pitch and warming up well before the home team. The warm up was disrupted but with kick off at 3pm a last minute shuffle of the squad was required.
Kick off 3pm, the last of year, Old Brentwoods losing the toss and Harlow choosing ends and OBRFC receiving the kick off. Our pack collected the ball well through George Watson making a darting run straight at the oncoming Harlow line, breaking a tackle, offloading and the ball was quickly slung wide to Dave Ginnaw who hit a diagonal line that carved the defence up breaking the gain line and stampeding towards the try line from his own half. A last minute offload following a covering tackle from Harlow’s Fullback to Sim Kushinga on the wing 5 meters out sealed the try. Ryan Barker stepped up and slotted the kick, 3 minutes played and OBRFC were 7-0 up a better start than anyone had expected.
Following the restart, OBRFC collected once again through Anthony Inkersole who took contact just short of the halfway line. The forwards dominating early possession with Charlie Raymond Jnr and Danny Butler hard lines and runs around the fringes of the rucks making yards and moving the team forward. Following several forwards moves Adam Grace called for quick ball to the backs, collecting and distributing to Aaron Knapp at inside centre to smash it up in midfield and test the Harlow defence. OBRFC’s early possession came with a lot of territory, Harlow with their hands in the ruck the Referee called for penalty, kick for goal was called and Ryan Barker stepped up and got his kick, 10-0 to the home team.
With OBRFC dominating each position around the park, the foot came off the gas and a turn over gave Harlow the ball on half way. Their 8 hitting a line through our slow reacting ruck defence making his way into the 22, before tackles from Sim Kushinga and Ryan Barker brought him down on the 5 meter line. With the defensive line still resetting from the break Harlow were quick to move it wide and scored in the corner.
OBRFC knew intensity, structure and tackling needed to be improved to get the game going again, at the restart a great chase from the Pack and the pressure was quickly being applied to Harlow camped in their own half. Big tackles coming in the backs from James Sullivan and Dave Ginnaw nullifying the attacks from Harlow. Turnover from Anthony Inkersole gave the ball back to OBRFC and Harlow quickly coming in from the side to disrupt, ref calling penalty, Adam Grace kicked us well into the Harlow 22. Line out just outside the 5 brought down and Charlie Raymond Snr coming round the corner failed to collect the ball and knocked it on.
Harlow cleared and a line out was called on the halfway, George Watson going up at the front stole the ball and Stuart Sullivan collected and ran at the Harlow defence. The ball back in the OBRFC possession a great run from Johnny Janes straight through the Harlow midfield, handing off one, bouncing another before being brought down near the 22. The forwards quick to react using pick and goes moved ever closer to the try line, before a switch of direction to the 10 meter channel where Johnny once again stood and ran over two players for the try.
Half time, and OBRFC were ahead. Great support play and line greats had created our opportunities and domination in the first half Captain Aaron Knapp, requested more of the same in the second half. With a new set of second row players coming on to make the impact, Johnny Janes and Andy Parish were replaced by Will Mead and Michael Scott. Credit to both JJ and Pootee they had ran their socks off in that half, with JJ now cemented as the team’s top try scorer this season ahead of the injured Ed Gooday who looked in from the side line.
Old Brentwoods kicking off, kicked shallow through a great kick from Adam Grace. The defensive line was up on them quick and caused a mistake from Harlow and a knock on was called. The scrum was strong and stable even with Harlow having the much bigger front row. The ball was spread wide through the hands a last minute pass from Aaron Knapp released Dave Ginnaw on the outside shoulder of his opposite number with James Sullivan & Ryan Barker running supporting lines, with trickery and offloading out the back along the wing, skills premiership teams would be proud of doing, got us inside the 22. Barry O’Connor quickly distributing to Danny Butler cut through the resetting Harlow defence, going under the posts for the try.
Once again on the front foot taking the game to Harlow, who looked seemingly looked on this seasons league form unbeatable, but OBRFC were keeping them quite and shutting them down before they got going. Michael Scott catching the restart running into the centre of the pitch and bursting through the middle of the field, long striding legs, Dave Ginnaw with a supporting line on his outside went in for the try as mike took contact with the full back. Ryan Barker making the conversion.
The game was once again underway with OB’s collecting and moving the ball up with pitch through the big runs of Will Mead. At the next break down further replacements were made with Matt Hardy coming on for Danny Butler in back row, Ben Murray for James Sullivan and John Barnes for Charlie Raymond Snr. The changes made to up the slowing intensity, with Harlow having a rare move inside the OB’s half, the 8 picked and went with Matt Hardy’s tackle being blocked slightly by the referee. Harlow now making yards, up into the 22, another penalty called, Harlow going for another scrum. Matt Hardy this time didn’t miss his target and brought the big 8 down the ball slowed and it was scrappy at the breakdown OB’s getting the ball but were taken into touch. Line out to Harlow and the Old Brentwood centres knew they had to shut them down in midfield quickly. Aaron Knapp bursting out the line to make a hit on the opposite 12 as soon as he received the ball from his fly half, with the Harlow playing releasing the ball in the tackle ref called knock on.
Old Brentwood back in possession making their way up the field with great lines from George Watson, Anthony Inkersole and Charlie Raymond Jnr. Quick play from Barry O’Connor release Adam Grace to a disjointed Harlow back line weaving, dodging opponents and going over for the try. With the game getting scrappier by the minute Michael Scott mistimed a tackle getting hit on the head and being taken off for precaution, Andy Parish Returning to the field. Harlow getting back into the game scored another try, hitting lines around the fringes and using their big front row to do so.
OB’s kicking to Harlow at the restart and a lack of intensity meant a slow defensive line apart from a sprinting Sim Kushinga who managed to make contact with the Harlow player in possession however also dislocating his shoulder at the same time, James Sullivan coming back on as replacement. With Harlow having the momentum they had a line out on the halfway and a second row breaking the line James Sullivan making a great defensive tackle covered by Aaron. A second pick and go down the wing, Andy Parish the covering player trying to push him into touch and missing by a county mile, causing Ryan Barker to improvise a tackle which ended up being high and was subsequently yellow carded.
Great defensive play and player mobility meant Old Brentwood were able to hold out to the pressure from Harlow to finish the game 47-19 to OBRFC. It was a hard fought game and we showed our class and pedigree.
DOTD – Andy Parish (worst push ever seen in the history of rugby)
MOTM – James Sullivan (ball skills and tough tackling)