After the disappointment of the 7’s it was back to the full 15. Missing 2 players again so thanks to Ray and Beau for stepping up at the last minute. We have not beaten Ashdown for several years but the boys were keen to maintain their unbeaten 2016. Once again the weather was interesting as we started in sun and wind after hail! The boys had the best of the early exchanges but without scoring. The pack looked dominant and there was strong running from the new Zac pairing at 10 and 12. However it was Ashdown who took the lead capitalising on a dropped pass and some weak tackling. Playing into a howling gale I felt that if we were on terms at the break we would be in with a great chance of winning the game. After strong runs from the forwards playing pick and go rugby we created space out wide and Zac C went over in the corner so 5 – 5 at the break.
Right from the whistle we were on the front foot with Kieron catching the kick off and making a good 20 metres with great support from Austin Ben E Ray, Zevon and Arjun before the backs moved the ball quickly to Dan T who, at last hit the open spaces and ran in from some distance out pacing the defence. The back row Peter, Ollie and Kieron were tackling everything that moved and Bradley looked sharp at the base. Zevon continues to win ball against the head which once again got us out of a tight spot in the last seconds of the first half. Both Dan P and Beau were running with greater confidence and making their tackles and Luke was, at last, getting up into the line with some effect. Further tries from the 2 Zac’s and a conversion put us well in control with game finishing 22 – 5 and the record intact. Once again huge credit to motm Ben E whose dominance at the line out is becoming legendary and he has now added ball carrying and tackling to his armoury.
A thoroughly professional performance in very difficult conditions from all the boys. JC