In an attempt to further test the Under 12’s progress against the very best opposition, a fixture was arranged against Richmond RFC. The opening games saw an Abbey A team take on Richmond’s B team and an Abbey B team playing against a Richmond C team.
The Abbey A side began their game brightly with a strong run from Mo Tahir opening the scoring for Abbey. The hosts lacked nothing in endeavour and produced some good moments of their own, but they were out-gunned in the critical areas as Abbey ensured a torrid day for the Old Deer Park club. Further first half tries from Joey Newman, continuing this season’s good form in attacking at pace, a second from Mo Tahir and Sam Wisely.
The hosts were turned over numerous times at the breakdown; the Abbey scrum being strengthened by Matt Simmons’ return to the second row from the midfield with his tireless efforts in the loose.
The start of the second half saw Richmond fight back and threaten the Abbey line. Robust defence turned into attack led to several phases of pressure with Tom Willis finally crossing the line for a fifth try of the game. Things went from bad to worse for the hosts when Mo Tahir ran in a final try to seal a convincing six tries to nil win.
Abbey B’s (supplemented by a few Reading players for the encounter) took on a plucky Richmond C Team. With their pack in the ascendency and Isaac Wasylciw’s work rate in the loose, Abbey were content to pin the visitors back in their own half by recycling the ball and accurate passing through the hands. The visitors’ stranglehold on the game was rewarded with two tries from David (Reading) and Barnaby Adams. Close to half time, the pressure on the Richmond line began to tell. An ambitious tap penalty from Abbey put the hosts in trouble. Barnaby Adams, despite the attention of the Richmond defence, was unstoppable and crossed for his second try of the half.
The second half continued in the same fashion and although Richmond put up some stout defence, Jonah Cunningham went close to a score before Connor (Reading) and Ben
Shimeld crossed for two further scores for a final victory by five tries to nil. Abbey’s win was built on their pack's hard endeavours in the scrum and the line-out and they played some fine, controlled rugby.
After convincingly beating the Richmond B’s, Abbey A’s took on Richmond A’s. In a pulsating, high quality game Richmond took an early lead. Five minutes later the visiting side responded when Mo Tahir, running a sublime angle, came on to a perfect pass. Pace and a sweet angle sent the centre over for a try to level the scores. Early in the second half Mo Tahir added a further try before Richmond fought back to level the match with a few minutes remaining. It was Abbey’s ability to retain the ball and grind out the hard yards which proved decisive along with Charlie Wilkinson’s hard running and aggression. Following an unusually loose Richmond pass Sam Wisely picked up the loose ball and scurried over for Abbey’s third try of the game. Richmond tried to conjure another score but Abbey kept them at arm's length until the final whistle. Abbey, coming from behind to continue their unbeaten run, secured a three tries to two victory, Ross Jaffray bossing the team throughout.
The second game for Abbey B’s saw them take on the Richmond B’s. Abbey were chasing the game from the start and were two tries to nil down at half time. Despite Abbey’s continued pressure, Richmond were in no mood to let them back into the game, although the visitors continued to look the more dangerous side. Abbey scored mid way through the second half although Richmond replied maintaining a two try advantage.
However, with the likes of Barnaby Adams, Ben
Shimeld, Isaac Wasylciw and the Reading contingent within the side, Abbey were never likely to roll over and, when they won possession, they were not afraid to give it a crack. Although one try was recovered and Gareth Colwill made a try saving tackle late on, Richmond B’s ran out three tries to two winners.
Well done to all the boys for a magnificent club display and thanks to all the parents for their support.
Richmond A (2 – 3) Abbey A
Richmond B (0 – 6) Abbey A
Richmond C (0 – 5) Abbey B
Richmond B (3 – 2) Abbey B