U16s Win 5th Consecutive Game with 17 Point Win At Roundhegians
By Alex Mitchell
Playing on a Saturday for the first time, before Roundhegians first team match, a large crowd gathered with tension high on the penultimate match day of the season.
Roundhegians (12) 12
Yarnbury (17) 29
Tries: Luke Woodend, Alex Koppany, James Longhawn (2), Jamie Mcdonnell
Con: Maxwell Lee, Edward Green
The half time score fails to reflect Yarnbury’s dominance in possession and territory, especially as Roundhegians only seemed to score on every rare occasion they were in the Yarnbury 22. However Yarnbury pulled away late in the second half following a lengthy period where the scores where close, but great attacking play saw 5 tries being scored overall by the travellers.
Following the kick off Yarnbury attempted to play their territory game plan, as Maxwell Lee kicked deep into the opposition 22. The Roundhegians full back attempted to run the ball back in but was superbly tackled into touch by Jamie Mcdonnell. The lineout was taken and the ball was passed to Edward Green who drove up to within 5 meters before being stopped. Pick and drive after pick and drive could then be played until Luke Woodend scored. Maxwell Lee completed the conversion so, after 3 minutes Yarnbury led by 7. Play was now mainly taking place in the Roundhegians half, often with Yarnbury in possession, but it was the home side that scored next. Following a couple of penalties awarded against Yarnbury at the breakdown, Roundhegians could build attacking momentum and exploited space down either wing, resulting in a quick try in the very corner of the pitch. The conversion was missed but with 15 minutes gone, Roundhegians had narrowed Yarnbury’s lead to 2 points. The next kick off bounced out into touch but Roundhegians where then penalised as their lineout wasn’t throw straight. Yarnbury took a scrum with Joe Pilling coming off the base before passing to Maxwell Lee who had drifted wide allowing him to run to the corner. He was stopped on the line, but soon after, Alex Koppany pick and drove into the corner himself. The conversion was missed; 5-12. Yarnbury continued to execute their territorial game plan, and following a couple of good brakes from Keenan Dixon-Dyer at fullback, the home side refused to kick clear. In the 26th minute this cost them as Matt Schofield was able to tackle one of their players into touch on his own 22. A maul was set up from the lineout and it essentially ran all the way to the try line with James Longhawn being accredited with the score. The conversion was missed but after 26 minutes Yarnbury had extended their lead to 12 points. Before the half was up though, Yarnbury lost their discipline again giving away a couple of penalties that allowed Roundhegians to gain attacking momentum once more. They attacked down each wing again, before being stopped on the line, and on only their second visit to the Yarnbury 22, scored again at their number 8 ran through a gaping hole in the defence to score under the posts. The conversion was kicked, half time Roundhegians 12-17 Yarnbury.
It took 22 minutes before the first score of the second half as both teams seemed to bow to scoreboard pressure. The game had turned cagey as neither side wanted to commit to anything too risky. However eventually something had to give and it was Yarnbury who scored next. Maxwell Lee kicked superbly from half way as the ball bounced before bobbling into touch for a 5m lineout for Roundhegians. The ball was stolen back though by Joe Pilling in the air, allowing for more pick and drives to take place. This was unsuccessful until James Longhawn dived over the ruck to score. Edward Green took over kicking duties but missed the conversion; 12-22. More pressure was heaped on Yarnbury as Roundhegians threw everything at getting a score back to close the gap. At one point, their flying winger broke from his 22 beating the tackler and then stepping the fullback, however the linesman adjudged that he had stepped into touch (unfortunately the player didn’t realise this until he was under the posts). In the end none of the home side’s efforts were successful as it was Yarnbury who scored close to the final whistle, securing the game. After James Longhawn won a turnover on halfway pick and drive phases were played making small meters, before Jamie Mcdonnell picked the ball up at the back of a ruck and with space in front of him broke away. He still had to beat 5 defenders but stepped and dummied them all as he went in under the posts. Edward Green kicked the conversion, full time: Roundhegians 12-29 Yarnbury.
Yarnbury: Keenan Dixon-Dyer, Jack Brownridge, Jamie Mcdonnell, Edward Green (capt), Jacob Rawson, Matt Schofield, Maxwell Lee, Saman Azari, James Longhawn, Luke Woodend, Alex Koppany, Ruairi Daly, Sam Brown, Joe Birchall, Joe Pilling
Replacements: Dan Mitchell, Jimmy Strover