Sun 22
Under 16 Boys
Maldon U16
Great conditions, great rugby and so close

Great conditions, great rugby and so close

By Leslie Gelling
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Shelford U16 36 ~ Maldon U16 38

Try scorers: Taylor Hein-Jones (3), Walter Watson, Jacob Absolom, Jake Murdoch

Conversations: Walter Watson (3)

On this absolutely gorgeous spring morning Shelford u16's played against a very physical and well drilled Maldon team in a match that proved to be both brilliant and frustrating in equal measure

Never in the history of team sport has the saying "a game of two halves" been more appropriated in describing what transpired at the weekend

In the first half, with possession around 60%-40% in our favour, the boys in maroon and white played the game at breath taking speed and ripped Maldon to shreds with their ability to run from anywhere and move the ball at pace. Five fabulous tries to one, only told half of the story as Shelford looked in a different class to their Essex guest. With a little bit of luck going our way we could of, and probably should have, had another two or three tries to our name. Our defence was excellent especially against this powerful and skilful team and we managed to keep the pressure on them, even without the ball

The second half could not have been more different, with possession 10%-90% in Maldon's favour. The Essex team had shown in the first half that their preferred style of play was to pick and go around the fringes of the ruck and batter their opposition into submission before moving the ball a bit wider. To their credit they executed this game plan quite brilliantly and although it's less attractive, it certainly is very effective. However hard we tried we just could not get hold of the ball and with the penalty count 100% against us our task was made impossible. A reversal of five tries to Maldon and one to Shelford, with the visitors kicking an extra conversion meant that our guest went home with the victory. Well done to the Maldon squad who played very well and we look forward to meeting up again next season

It is difficult to explain exactly why we ended up loosing this match but I think Rob Smart's comment at the end of the game probably identified the deciding factor

The coaching team are extremely proud of the squad's efforts, commitment and especially their outstanding first half performance (although 35 minutes of almost solid tackling against some of the biggest opponents we have faced will definitely stand us in good stead for next Sunday's EC final). We look forward to seeing you all next week

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Match details

Match date

Sun 22, Apr 2018