This week’s fixture was an unknown quantity for Copthorne as we faced Hazelwood for the first time. In the opening stages we looked dominant, hitting rucks hard, running straight lines and commanding the scrum. Chris (12) broke through the centres to race 40 metres for the lead and duly converted. A lack of concentration at a penalty allowed the hosts to ghost through 3 static tacklers to level the scores. Something which we have lacked all season is putting pressure on the attacking line with a rush defence and the first time we performed this caused Hazelwood to panic and throw a loose ball which Tom (13) collected and dived over from close range. Half time score 12 – 7.
There were a few nervy moments in the 2nd half when what can only be described as a high defensive line cut down any attacking space, causing handling errors all over the pitch. Hazelwood chased a long kick and when collecting the ball ran a full diagonal line to score in the corner to level the scores again. Another break came down the right wing, which Hazelwood touched down for the lead for the first time in the game. The remaining 10 minutes were all Copthorne’s and with a well-deserved penalty for offside, Dylan (9) tapped for a quick one before off-loading to Toby (3) to crash over. It was deja vu on the opposite flank as another tap penalty set up quick ball at the ruck and a simple pick and drive from Toby, again, sealed the win.
This was a rather frustrating game at times but credit goes to the boys who stuck to their task and battled on to claim a vital win going into tournament season before returning for the final game against Brambletye. Well done to all 14 boys involved today and a big thank you to the travelling support.
Team: 15 Zac, 14 Dan, 13 Tom, 12 Chris, 11 Will, 10 Matthew, 9 Dylan; 1 Jack, 2 Nico, 3 Toby, 4 Gabes, 5 Ben. Subs: 16 Zach, 20 Robbie