Market Harborough defeated
Arron scores 7 when feeling ill........
R&H under 14's had a fixture free weekend, so manager Graeme worked his magic and arranged a home fixture against Market Harborough. When these two sides meet last year the MH completely out played R&H for a comfortable win, so the boys knew they were in for a tough mornings work.
Arron turned up not feeling great after a lot of sport in the week and football on Saturday he was a broken man. However, a bacon roll and a well managed warm up by his coaches he made the field. With Aiden missing due to England Basketball trials and Jamie missing due to injury the loss of another top draw player would have made this contest a tougher one.
Having won the toss MH opted to receive and R&H to play down the slope first half.
It wasn’t long before R&H opened the scoring with the forwards putting together a few tidy phases and then some slick hands by the backs put Arron in space allowing him to use his pace to touch down with only 2 minutes played. Jake knocked over the conversion from in front of the posts.
The second try was a little longer in coming as both sides made several mistakes and missed opportunities to score. When the try did come it was almost a mirror image of the first try. The forwards turned over a MH ball just outside the 22 and rumbled on a few phases to suck in the MH players. Jake playing at fly half, for a change, identified a miss match and a couple of well-timed passes saw Arron flying down the wing for try number 2
A nasty finger injury to MH's most lethal player caused the visitors to rearrange the team, with them being a little disjointed R&H pressed home the advantage. A penalty for going off their feet was given in front of the posts after concerted pressure from the home forwards. With the team knowing this was going to be a close game Tana decided to kick for posts, much to the dismay of his forwards. Thankfully he knocked it over giving R&H a good lead.
MH reorganised and really took the game to R&H, they contested the breakdown fiercely and threw R&H off their game plan, as they could not win enough good ball their backs. Alfie was replaced by new boy Lewis H to stem the MH tide. There was also a shuffle in the back with Ryan coming on to the field at scrum half, Tana moving to his normal position of fly half and Jake moving to full back to allowing Callum to move up to the centres to replace the unwell Arron.
These changes gave R&H a much-needed lift with Elliott C, Callum and Lewis M making big in roads in to the MH half. However, poor decision making, and poor discipline meant several try scoring opportunities went begging.
Just before half time an injury in the backs meant Arron had to be come back on, as ever his introduction changes the team mentality and they know if he gets the ball it often leads to 7 points. R&H scrum was now in full control with Euan able to use his hooking skills to gain a number against the head. From one "against the head" Ryan saw the space and linked with Arron for him to score his hat trick try, he even converted it for good measure.
From the kick-off Freddie and Kyle S rampaged up field with Max and Kyle J in support the set up a quick ruck, allowing the backs to give Arron space on the outside and score number 4. Jake knocked over the conversion.
With R&H now dominate Joseph, Sam W, James N, James A, Harry T, Finley, were introduced to give them a run out against a strong side. All played very well with James N being the pick of the bunch and showing that if he puts his mind to it he is as good as any of the other forwards in the team.
The second half began as the first started with Arron racing in for try number 5 as MH kicked the ball straight to him! Tana duly converted.
With a lot of development guys on the pitch for R&H, MH showed great mental attitude and upped their efforts and started to dominate R&H. They gain parity in the scrum and certainly out played R&H at the break down. Aligned to this was Rushden's poor discipline, with silly penalties given away when they were pushing home the advantage. Had MH not lost their big centre in the first half the score line may have looked a bit different.
When R&H did get the ball the "new look" back line looked dangerous, particularly Lewis M whose passing (not his strongest asset) was impeccable. From one of his passes Arron scored try number 6. The ball was feed to Lewis M following a scrum on the R&H 22 he drew in both the MH centres before giving an exquisite pass to allow Arron to score under the posts which he converted.
Arron’s final try was a thing of beauty and show cased the teams desire to attack from anywhere on the pitch.
Strong work at the break down by Max, Kyle J and Elliott F turned over the ball on R&H's goal line. Ryan fed the ball to No 8 Freddie who found himself at fly half, he went to charge head long into contact but heard the backs calling for it. Freddie likes smashing things and doesn't like passing but on this occasion the screams and blonde locks of the backs were too much, and he moved the ball to Tana, who was by now under his own posts. Tana feed Lewis M who feed Elliott C, his burst of pace created enough space for Arron to take the ball and glide in from 70m out. If you score a try like that you must take the conversion and Arron did just that for another two points to his haul. Arron was then replaced for the final 10 minutes with a nasty bruise to the side of his neck…….
MH were to have the last say when they were applying pressure close to the Rushden line, the ref had deemed it advantage to MH for R&H collapsing the maul. From this advantage the MH player squeezed over in the corner for a well-deserved try
Today was an impressive team effort from all the squad however, we must learn not to give opposition easy get outs through giving away silly penalties.
Couple of standout players this week were Arron obviously for his scoring feat of 7 tries, Elliott F and Kyle J for their no nonsense tackling. Strong ball carrying from Freddie, Jake continuing to impress at fly half and new comer jack mccaffery impressing at 7 with a tenacious dogged effort in defence.
Parents MOM – Elliott F