Well what a difference a week off makes! Hazelwood returned to Copthorne for the 2nd half of the double headed fixture and were surprised by the improvement made by our boys. Buoyed by the return of Luca, who had missed the first fixture through injury, we started the game with the knowledge that if we won the ruck area we could win the game. From the off we looked strong in attack, running the ball at every opportunity, forcing
Hazelwood to make the tackle. Luca crashed over from close range before Ben C outpaced the cover tacklers to give us a 2 try lead early on. The game hit a bit of stalemate with both teams making handling errors but it was Hazelwood who capitalised and brought the scores back to 2-1. Ben C raced clear down the right wing to restore the 2 try lead but this try would never have happened if it wasn’t for the solid rucking from Charlie and Jamie.
I set the boys a challenge of winning the 2nd half outright, guaranteeing us the victory overall, and they did not disappoint me. Sam D and Sam S got their hands on the ball a lot more and began to make inroads in to defence setting a nice platform to play from. Akshay was also finding his feet and began to carry the ball with more aggression. From a free pass in our own 22 we chose to run the ball to try and suck some defenders in, so Austin took possession and off he went … then he just kept on going! He bounced away 3 tacklers before making the 40 metre journey to the try line to make it 4-1. Ben B continued to punch above his weight in the tackle and Jacob used his handling skills to good effect to keep the ball flowing down the backline. With the last play of the game we made good ground through the centre, drawing in the Hazelwood defence allowing Ban C to finish off his hat trick and settle the game 5-1.
This was a much better performance than before half term and with only 2 games to play it puts us in a fantastic position to end with a winning season! Ashdown House are next up, before a couple of 7’s tournaments at the end of next week. MA