A new season, new players and hopefully new fortune, we found ourselves taking on Old Millhillian's in a pre-season friendly, this was hopefully going to be the catalyst to kick-off our season as we've shown in previous years to be slow to start. We found ourselves having to travel to the neutral venue that was Old Grammarians (as we've not yet the pitch to play at home), in hopes that the relocation would not affect our chances as they've done to Spurs.
We took to the pitch with new acquisitions Nick D joining the front row and brothers Mark and Adam helping bolster the backline, hoping this new blood would help turn those narrow defeats from last season into wins. We started with good intensity as we chased down the kick-off and looked strong during the opening exchanges, only to be thwarted by the referees interpretations of the laws. O.M's took the advantage as they used their attacking width to score first, not perturbed by conceding first we went on the attack at the other end ensuring to come away from the first quarter with the minimum of 3 points.
Having grasped how the referee was interpreting the game, we started to play within those confines as was seen in the lead up as Adam scored our first Try. A series of carries brought us into the O.M's 22 and with a quick offload game allowing Adam to manoeuvre the space to burst over. This quick offload game (especially amongst the forwards) set up more opportunities as we repeatedly closed on the O.M's try-line, eventually pressure told as Sam went over. The forwards not only showed good play in the open but worked well at the set piece, this was exemplified when 5 metres shy of the try-line they took a well executed line-out and drove the following maul over the line Sam once again claiming the honours. But despite all this good work O.M's never remained to far behind, they continued to employ their quick wingers as they chipped over the top and allowed them to chase, even though good defence was employed in these moments O.M's managed to convert some of there opportunities to keep pace with us.
As we entered the final quarter of the game scores were level with everything yet still to play for, having played with such a high tempo for the majority of the game Southgate's forwards were found waning in energy so the backline took up the mantle to regain the advantage, this was done through employing O.M's tactic of a chip and chase over the top with the Seagroatt brothers proving linking up to score in the corner. We relaxed and unfortunately O.M's countered to score a converted try of there own to take the lead. Being on the back foot for the last 10 minutes the previous season would of seen us capitulate but we fought back and worked ourselves into a scoring position, Adam knocking over the penalty to take the lead by a point and had us maintain possession till the end to see the game out.
Team: Sam H, Nick D, Jack, Pete, Oberlander, Joel, Ben (Stav), Nick W (c), Alex, Eggman, Mark, Shane, Adam, Stefan
Scorers: Sam H (2T) Mark (1T) Adam (1T, 1C, 2P)