I asked the boys before the match who we were playing and the reply from an unnamed player brought a smile: “Hazelwood Sir, your old school Sir. We have to win Sir!”
The feature of this match was undoubtedly the number of high-impact collisions; the boys on both sides were willing to put their bodies on the line and the first 5 minutes was particularly high in intensity. Nick H sadly limped from the field early on and Nathan also took an early knock but the ball eventually moved down the rearranged backline and into the hands of Dan P. Dan burst between two attempted tackles inside his own 22 metre line and then showed real pace to run the length of the pitch and score under the posts. Nick K kicked the conversion.
Hazelwood had a strong running fly half and, with echoes of last week, the boys pushed up aggressively in defence to try to deny him any time to get up speed. This worked very well for the majority of the match but he did escape after about 10 minutes and scored in the corner. We continued to insist on a rather narrow pattern of play, much to the frustration of the outside backs who were audibly calling out for the ball (quite rightly) but this did eventually lead to a well-taken try under the posts by Nick K who also converted. Soon after that Dan P escaped again for another long range try and once more, Nick converted. Tom W came round the corner on a great run at full speed to be hauled down just before the line but we ended the half with Dan W picking an excellent line and showing good pace to score in the corner.
The second half continued as the first had ended with real aggression shown from Will F with ball in hand, but also from Kye, Rohan and Freddie. Nile showed particular fighting spirit in the tackle.
Unfortunately Nathan finally had to leave the field due to a sore shoulder. Jonathan C-L came into the second row to replace Nathan and showed great strength and
aggression taking the ball forward on several occasions despite two or three bigger players hanging onto his back. Another long range score from Dan W was followed by a last ditch try-saving tackle by Kye which unfortunately led to him leaving the pitch for the last few minutes.
Once again, I was genuinely impressed with the boys’ commitment and aggression in both attack and defence. Dan P was deservedly Man of the Match not just for two excellent tries but also for excellent cover defence. The departing Hazelwood coaches were very complimentary of the skills on display but also of our style of play.
Another good win – well done boys! HS