Ongar U15’s 42 v 7 South Woodham Ferrers U15’s
By David Lawrence
As our first away game of the season
This week saw the U15’s kick off their season with an away fixture against Ongar in League 2. Both sides played each other last in the cup final of at the end of last season with Woodham coming out on top.
New laws this year for the U15’s included 5 minutes extra per half and lifting in the lines outs. Additionally the tackle height to penalise for a high tackle dropped from armpit to the nipple line. With just the bare 15 players for Woodham it was going to be a tough game after just one full weekend of training since the start of the season under the visitors belt.
With the lack of subs for Woodham coaches agreed that should there be an injury requiring Woodham to reduce the number of players that Ongar would remove a player to match. Woodham took the kick off to start the game playing against the wind and into the bright late summer sun. Both teams came out of the blocks firing and ready.
Woodham had the slight advantage at the scrum pushing the hosts back and having to hold on several occasions. Both teams working well at the break down but over enthusiasm leading to poor discipline and the needless giving away of penalties. However Woodham soon putting pressure on at the breakdown started to win more of the penalties than the hosts, and getting positive comments from the ref around discipline at the break down.
Woodham’s eagerness however lead to a number of high tackles, and a warning after 3 high tackles of the potential team consequences of 6 minutes in the sin bin. Play moved up and down the pitch but a break by the hosts saw them cross for the first try of the game which was converted, 7-0. Much of the same ensued for the next 10 minutes until another break down the wing from the hosts saw them cross the line again, and with the conversion extend the lead 14 – 0.
Woodham regrouped and continued to push the hosts back. Again lack of discipline from Ongar saw a number of penalties go Woodham’s way but the visitors struggled to find the hole in the Ongar defense. Ongar this time warned around the high tackle and the consequences the same as for the visitors. Woodham manged to break free and fly half, Rhino, crossed the line with number 8, Ox making the conversion 14 – 7. Woodham also had a couple of good runs off of chips or cross field kicks but the bounce not going their way and knock on’s being awarded.
With half time fast approaching, both teams were pushing hard. Ongar made another break down the wing but had to contend with cover from Bullet and H. However the ref blew for a high tackle and advised that the tackler was the last man which would have allowed Ongar through to score, so a penalty try was awarded, 21 – 7 into the break.
There wasn’t much for the boys and coaches to talk about at the break. Everyone was playing well, we were just let down by the odd break around the wings from Ongar. Woodham were still strong in the scrum and winning most of the contest at the breakdown.
The second half saw much of the same with both sides pushing for tries. Ongar again breaking free down the wing to cross for their 3 try of the game and the conversion again good extending the lead to 28 – 7. Ongar secured their 4th try from a well worked back attack from the scrum taking the score to 35 – 7. H had swapped with Bullet to move to full back and took a number of difficult high balls. George and jack both working hard in the centre of the pitch with some aggression thrown into the mix.
However Woodham lost Lewis W after he sustained a knock to the head taken off as a precaution in case of concussion, and Ongar dropped to 14 men to match the Woodham side. In the dying minutes Ongar intercepted a pass follow and excellent take from scrum half Michael’s with the score 42 – 7 at the final whistle. The score a poor reflection of the effort put in by all the boys for their first match, with everyone giving 100% throughout the game.
Man of the match went to Rhino for work rate, tackling and the one try of the game for Woodham. Next week the boys are at home training from 12:00, so if you want to try to see if Rugby is for you then feel free to come down and see what we are about.