Walden U15's take away win at Southwold 25-38
A drastically reduced squad still produce a win and some superb rugby
Saffron Walden u15s were away to the furthest reaches of Suffolk this week for a fixture against Southwold running out eventual 38-25 winners.
The long coach journey took its toll and caught the Walden boys napping as they fumbled the kick off, managing to regather only for a loose pass to fall behind the posts to which Southwold got the luck of the bounce to take a 5-0 lead. In strong winds they missed the conversion and our lads realised they had a game on their hands. That served as a decent wakeup call and Walden started to play some rugby, building phases through slick passing and solid rucking to gain territory and position before open side Charlie burst through the Southwold defence to bring things level. Morgan kicked the conversion despite a strong wind to put us ahead.
From the kick off we again put ourselves under pressure before regaining composure and some good interlinking play between backs and forwards saw us gain good field position from which the forwards pick and drove through several phases before Ryan burst through to score. Morgan beat the conditions to convert again and give us a 12-5 lead. Once again our smaller pack showed great fitness and resolve to outsmart and outplay a larger pack and with the score giving the lads new confidence we continued to build pressure and found ourselves in a great scrum position around 10 metres from their line. No 8 Kaelen picked and went, drawing 2 defenders before offloading to scrum half Harry Mitchell who drew his man and put Harry Vincent West away in the corner. 19-5 to Walden at half time.
Immediately after the break Southwold caught our lads napping and one of their stronger runners literally ran through our midfield to touch down under the posts. With another, well worked try from them 5 mins later it was suddenly game on and our boys realised they need to switch on and respond.
Some strong kicking from full back Olly Davies put pressure on the Southwold back 3 and played us in to their 22 from which Harry Mitchell, who was excellent all day, spotted a gap and skirted several defenders to touch down out wide. After sucking up more pressure from the home team our boys again kicked clear and this time were unlucky to have what looked like a clear try disallowed after no. 10 Josh broke free and appeared to have grounded the ball. Post-match footage from various camera’s suggested the ref, some 30 yards back, may have been wrong but we took the decision and moved on! Sure enough literally 3 mins later another clearance kick was superbly chased by wing Finn who beat the defender to the bounce and sprinted a full 50 yards clear to touch down. Morgan again converted. Southwold came back again but excellent defence from all our boys and especially Oisin who let nothing through his channel at 12 all day, kept pushing them back. Further hard work by the forwards and dominance at the ruck saw some strong, line breaking runs from new comer Ming before Beau made a clear break through and after the conversion SW took what appeared to be a commanding lead with 38 points to 15.
The game was far from over though and with Southwold sporting a huge squad compared to our meagre 17, tired legs began to tell and after being initially denied by some excellent defence, they worked the ball well out wide to touch down in the corner. They missed the conversion but continued to exert pressure and a few minutes later broke through after a line out and charged down our kicker for a final conciliatory score.
It was truly an excellent team performance where everyone played to the best of their ability but well done to joint men of the match Olly Davies for his assured display at full back and excellent kicking game and to 2nd row Alex Benn for his tireless work rate around the park, tackling and all round game.
A big thanks to Southwold who were great hosts and gracious losers, we had a fantastic day out at your lovely club and town and would welcome a return fixture.