The Black Horse found a temporary new home at Harlow for today's game against Southgate, hoping for a second win of the season in Dan Astaritas' home town. This fixture is normally closely contested but with a strong side fielded and 3 wins on the bounce the Horse were confident and it didn't take long for that confidence to grow. With the wet and muddy conditions the forwards were out for a tough game but they started fantastically. Exceptional scrummaging and rucking made up for Chris Ellmore in the line up and most of the first half was spent in the Southgate half.
The good work of the forwards left the backs to finish off the moves. After 5 minutes they were ahead when Mark Livesey broke down the touch line and scored the first try of the game. The second followed soon after, a quick break from Aaron Paea at the back of the scrum was passed off to Rob Scrimshaw to score. The third was an Adrian Lee classic. Some great forwards work near the try line was eventually finished by Adrian Lee from 5m. Southgate rallied back and got to the Horse 5m line but some great defending from the Horse saw them through. The fourth try came from a a Chris Ellmore break from a maul, passed on to Adrian Lee who at the right moment moved the ball to Ben Brown to score. With the first half near it's conclusion the Horse were not finished. Some more good work from the forwards resulted in the backs moving the ball wide for Mark Livesey to get his second. The first half ended with five tries to the Horse and a commanding 29-0 lead.
The Horse knew the second half would be tough however, as Southgate had the wind and the slope in to the corner. From the off they targeted that side and their persistence eventually paid off. After numerous penalties the referee had enough and awarded a penalty try, to get Southgate on the board. The next 20 minutes or so were largely played in the middle of the field, with both sides trying to use the wind to move them up the pitch. The countless line outs that followed were won, lost, not straight or a Chris Ellmore penalty. Eventually the Horse got a break. Mark Livesey powered through for about 30m before being tackled but Rob Scrimshaw was alongside to pick the ball up and score his second of the game. With 7 minutes to go the game should have been over but Southgate never gave up and eventually got a couple more tries. First the Horse defended numerous penalties but tiredness eventually kicked in and a Southgate prop got on the score sheet. Southgate then won the ball cleanly from the kick off and made considerable distance before switching the ball out wide for a third try of the game with the final play.
It wasn't enough in the end and the Horse won the game 34-19, the first half blitz proving the difference between the sides. With four wins in a row The Horse power in to next weeks game against Finsbury Park, looking to revenge the defeat they suffered 6 weeks ago.
MOM - Chris Ellmore - great all round performance apart from not getting up and out quickly
WOM - Danny Migliozzi - for a two footed football slide tackle that has no place on a rugby pitch (or a football pitch for that matter)