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U13 - Match centre

Hertford RFC
Ruislip - A Team
Sun 10 Feb 11:00 - League Full time

Match report U13A Hertford v Ruislip Sunday 10th February 2019

Hertford Shackled with ton’s of ‘Endurance'

Match report U13A Hertford v Ruislip Sunday 10th February 2019

When asked to undertake a match report (5 minutes before kick-off) I thought if Henry Winter from the Telegraph can do it, then so can anyone. How wrong can you be !

First Mistake - Henry Winter is a football correspondent (wrong shaped ball)
Second mistake – Always carry a pen and paper with you
Third and final mistake – Don’t try and type on a smart phone with gloves – it doesn’t work. Then don’t try and type on a smart phone without gloves, when your hands are frozen solid. It takes ages and you miss the game. Also get your smart phone off predictive text.

I thought about what to write and whilst reading the paper this Monday morning I saw reference to the search for the Antarctic explorer Ernest Shackleton’s ship ‘Endurance’. So instead of dwelling on individual moments by different players in the match I wanted to mention the attitude of both teams as a whole. What is the definition of ‘Endurance’ ?

According to the Oxford English dictionary as an ‘adjective’ it means – “denoting a sporting event that takes place over a long distance or otherwise demands great physical stamina”. A perfect description for a game where both teams battled not only against the cold, wind and rain but also each other with total commitment, for the entirety of the match – often on the edge – but not in my view never going over it.

Ruislip were team that consisted of a number of very well-built, tall and athletic individuals and strong looking forwards - as the rain went vertical [again this season] - it was going to a be a long hard day the office.

From the start the forwards of both teams locked horns and over the course of the first few exchanges some of the tackling, clearing out and rucking was devastating. Definitely a day for the forwards I thought.

The first try goes to Hertford – Ollie H drives through after some great work from the forwards [1-0]

Hertford are then put under some pressure leading to a fine attacking move – a number of tackles were ridden by the Ruislip attacker - resulting in a try by Ruislip [1-1]

There are further bouts of forward versus forward activity where more tackles and controlled aggression are clearly evident to see. The resultant activity leads to a break away by the very tall and athletic winger from Ruislip, rides a couple of tackles and makes it to the try line. Ruislip lead. [1-2]

There then followed a few knock-on from both sides (the wind, cold and rain making handling difficult) but Hertford continued to battle away resulting a series of passes down the line where Jack S finished a good team move. The scores were now level [2-2]

Hertford continued to try and play expansive rugby and a couple of moves followed where the ball was passed out wide but forward passes or knock-on were the only outcome.

Hertford persevered and another move quickly followed whereby forward activity enabled the ball to end up out on the wing and Iwan L managed to score on the far side. Hertford lead. [3-2]

Just before half-time – there was an enormous collision tackle – rugby league style – between George M and his strong running opposite number taking the Ruislip player down - with cries of high tackle and an audible crunch and gasp - nothing malicious in it just high velocity in my view.

Half-time came and went and the wind still blew.

The second half brought team changes from both sides, but the intensity level didn’t drop and within minutes the tall athletic winger broke free and with a powerful run and lovely side step ran past the last covering Hertford player to score his hat-trick. Scores are level. [3-3]

Hertford continued to manage the forwards battle (Ollie H, Freddie H and Will R were as tough as they get - battling pound for pound) and on the far side a number of drives led to Hertford going over the try line, with centre Finn N ending up as the try scorer driven over by the pack. Hertford lead [4-3]

Heading towards the end of the match now and Ruislip are camped just outside the Hertford try line. Tackles are going in time after time to prevent the onslaught of the Ruislip forwards, the ball goes out to the far wing and was lost by Ruislip, however there was advantage being played. Ruislip returned to the area of offence and are quicker at responding to events in front of them and score an equalising try [4-4]

Time for one last play. From the restart a wonderful break by Finn N, great bursts of speed, beating a number of players and is heading from the far corner, with support from Jack S and Iwan L, but a few metres from the line just cannot get the ball away from some bigger Ruislip defenders and cover prevents him releasing the ball. The ball goes out and the whistle blows.

Result: A draw – a very fair result and a great game from my perspective.

Hertford 20 - Ruislip 20 (Ollie H, Jack S, Iwan L, Finn N)

Over the last couple of matches we have been able to overcome the opposition and score many tries at will. This was a different challenge. A good team with lots of big mobile boys with plenty of aggression and skill. I think it is what we needed, not only learn how to manage games with these type of players but how develop as a team by playing in a different style.

Thanks to Adrian for being the man in the middle (for two matches in quick succession)
Thanks to the Ruislip management team who were very complementary of the Hertford boy’s attitude and effort.

In the club house at the end of the match, Finn was awarded by the Ruislip team player of the day. Hertford nominated the tall winger from Ruislip as their player of the day.

To revert to my point about ‘endurance’ – I think the attitude and effort shown by both sides easily fits the definition. Don’t you ?

Many thanks to Phil Suddick for a great summation of both teams efforts on the pitch. Thank you to Ester Nicklin for shirt duty and Tania serving food.

Kind regards

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