Rosslyn Park FC U13As vs Hertford RFC U13As vs – Sunday 7/4/19 – 11.30am Kick off
By Gareth Lewis
Rosslyn Park FC U13As vs Hertford RFC U13As vs – Sunday 7/4/19 – 11.30am Kick off
So, here we are at the final regular and league game of the season at Rosslyn Park FC in deepest South West London. A traditional club with a single pitch tightly packed into the surroundings, but with a significant reputation. This is big end of season encounter.
Both sets of players engaged in a good warm up, Hertford impressive in their all black training kit, Rosslyn Park in red and white hoops. Some ominous signs in the warm up with some very dynamic looking opposition players, comfortable in their game.
1st Half KO - Hertford received the kick off.
Sure enough, what was to follow was a highly practiced, well drilled, example of how to play to your strengths from Rosslyn Park. The fly-half kicked very high and short to land it right on the 10 yard line. Their tall number 8 jumped high, with momentum towards the ball. An easy take, with Hertford caught flat footed. The ball was recycled and a few passes followed with a good offload to the fly-half who chose his line well and burst through a gap and over the try line. 5-0 to Rosslyn Park.
Rosslyn Park kicked off again and retrieved the ball, a few rucks later in the middle of the pitch, the number 6 dummied a pass out of the back of the ruck and nipped through the gap and was through to the try line. Two very quick fire tries from a sharp looking side. 10-0 Rosslyn Park
Hmm, clearly a tricky game ahead.
Hertford got hold of the ball from the kick off and managed to get some hands on the ball. The short game style from the tournament last week crept into their game though, and having gone 2 tries down and being on the back foot with Rosslyn Park’s kick off routine, they forced too many passes, which didn’t go to hand and subsequently lost possession.
They did start to get into the game though, with some characteristic runs from Archie Hunt and Finn Newton. Some interplay, simpler offloads, recycling of the ball in the ruck. Taite managed to gain some good yards.
One of those forced passes and the ball was spilled, Rosslyn Park gained possession and had some space on the left. Great linking between their fly-half and number 8 to loop around and get the 8 on the wing, who burst through and ran down the wing to score. 15-0
More good play from Rosslyn following their kick off to steal the ball. Good hands and out to the right and their quick outside centre ran around the defence. 20-0
Hertford scrum was again excellent, and has not been beaten all season. Hertford, as such, found themselves on the front foot. Jack made good yards down the left and some good pressure followed with tight play, good runs breaking the gain line and retention of the ball. Will, Finn B and Archie H all making good yards. The ball now very close to Rosslyn Park’s try line. Archie T takes the ball as first receiver and forces his way over the line. Great play and showing some of Hertford’s strengths. 20-5
Rosslyn Park restart with their familiar formula. High kick, Number 8 catches. Passes out wide to their quick centre. 25-5
A period of good defence from Hertford and competed well to get the ball. Some short off loads, good continuity to retain the ball with some good rucking.
Archie T, Will R and Archie H making great yards with the ball to get into Rosslyn Park’s 10 yard line. Finn N kicked and followed up to rip the ball off the full back. The Jack took the ball short from the ruck and forced his way over the line. 25-10. Hertford hanging on by the finger nails…
However again Rosslyn Park used their formula. Short high kick, number 8 retrieves. Passes wide from the ruck fly-half scores. 30-10
Half Time. Really difficult game for Hertford. Not a slugging match by any means. Rosslyn Park clearly had some very strong aspects of their game particularly from their fly-half and number 8, both tall and dynamic players, who were also excellent at breakdown. The fly-half being the best kicker, by a significant margin, that Hertford had played against all year. As such Hertford often found themselves on the back foot. However, Hertford also have their own strengths and had the measure of Rosslyn Park in some areas of the game. The Hertford scrum is very strong and tight play is very good and gains a lot of yards. Could Hertford win the second half….
2nd half – Herford kicked off. Archie N found some space with a long kick. Hertford managed to get the ball, but were slightly late to the ruck. Rosslyn Park got a steal from their fly-half and ran the ball in wide. 35-10
A competitive period of play then ensued and play flicked both ways. A good kick from Rosslyn Park and the ball bounced typically awkwardly on the 3g pitch and the fly-half was on-hand to take the ball and run in. 40-10
Again competitive play from Hertford. Good pressure. Daniel, playing scrum half today, was lively all day and quick at the penalties to get play moving again. He also put in some great tackles on their good runners; hanging on, and then wrapping them up well.
Rosslyn Park tried a kick overhead, but Morgan was hand to wrap it up and evade the on-running players. Precious little space out wide for the Hertford wingers today. Rosslyn Park’s defence always had lots of cover out wide
The opposition fly-half made another key intervention and stole the ball. Shortly after a scrum was formed and the ball went out wide to one of their quick centre who scored. 45-10.
Hertford forced a pass and lost the ball, but some great counter rucking from Peter to complete for the ball. However, the number 8 for Rosslyn Park also had good counter rucking in a subsequent play. A pass to the fly-half who ran a good line to score. 50-10.
Hertford kept their heads up despite the score. Rosslyn Park broke free. But some desperate tackling from Jack, Morgan and Tom, held them up before the try line. However, Rosslyn Park managed to get it out wide to their quick midfielders. 55-10
Another link up between the 8 and fly-half for Rosslyn Park got them another score. A good effort to stop the centre from Morgan, which unfortunately left him injured. 60-10
Again Hertford kept the pressure up. A good kick off from Archie N and great pressure from the team to retrieve the ball. A passage of simple play with good runs over the gain line sucking Rosslyn Park’s defence to create some space. The ball now close to the 5 yard line. Good communication from team to call it out right the ball arrives out wide to Archie N with Jason outside and a 2 on 2. Pass was good and Jason darted and dodged over the line. Good score and good resilience from the team to compete despite the score-line. 60-15
Cue Rosslyn Park’s formula. 65-15
Hertford ended the match going forward in the Rosslyn Park 22 putting on good pressure. Iwan and Finn N trapping their player and creating a maul to win the subsequent scrum. Hertford still trying some backs moves with Luke trying a decoy line and Taite having a cameo role in the backs. However, to no avail, the final whistle blows.
Hertford were well beaten by a good side. Rosslyn Park were well drilled and had two outstanding players, who dominated the match. The fly-half getting the Hertford team vote for man of the match. Rosslyn Park have set the benchmark high for the boys to aim at next season.
Hertford found themselves on the back foot, forcing the offload and losing valuable possession. But, to their credit, never gave up and were the better team in several aspects of play. Jack was named man of the match by Rosslyn Park for his strong running and difficulty in being stopped.
Dealing with the Rosslyn Park kick off and more retention of the ball, and this would have been a much, much closer contest.
Many thanks to the coaching team; Sean, Russ, Ant, Adrian, Graeme and Gareth, plus all the Wednesday team. Despite today’s result they have created a great team. It has been a great year for watching the As and they have been a credit to Hertford RFC, playing great rugby and also setting the bar very high against many other teams. Onwards to the Tour….