Rugby: Harron sets a tough challenge
Rugby / Thu 5th Sep 2013 pm30 12:58pm
THIS season Lee Harron has set Harlow 1st XV squad a tough challenge in the run up to the start of their league campaign on the 14th September. He has opted for good opposition in the pre-season warm up games and has rotated his players to ensure that both experienced squad members and also younger ones challenging for a team place get time on the field.
On the 24th a mixed squad of both 1st XV and Rams (2nd XV) players took part in a four team tournament at Campion RFC where they were joined by Billericay and a development squad from Barking (National III SE). Against Campion Harlow lost 12 -13 and the same v Billericay. Against Barking the score was 5 – 12 to them. Lee Harron was pleased with the close margins in matches where Harlow opted to attack at every opportunity rather than take the points from penalties. It also gave them a chance to assess the Campion side that were promoted last season and now will be in the same division as Harlow.
Last Saturday Harlow faced another major challenge when they played a triangular against Saffron Walden who play a division above them and a good second team squad side from Bishop’s Stortford. Harlow would like to thank both clubs for sending excellent squads and playing open attacking rugby; just what was required in a pre-season situation.
Lee Harron said of the afternoon “This year’s warm up games are against much stronger opposition, Saffron Walden from the League above and a strong Bishops Stortford 2nd XV. We put some good continuity and phase play together but need to work on our composure and patience in the final quarter. The forwards performed very well dominating both Saffron Walden and Bishops Stortford up front. We will work hard on our defensive structure over the next few weeks.”
When commenting on the game next Saturday Harron said, “Next week we Harlow a very strong Stevenage Team and we run the risk of going into our first League Game without a win. However, the quality of opposition we have been playing and performing well against will stand them in good stead for the start of the league campaign”.
Summary of Games on Saturday:
Harlow v Saffron Walden
An intercepted pass allowed Saffron Walden to go ahead with a converted try. Harlow countered and from a lineout a driving maul set an opportunity for Mackie to break away to score and Dobson converted to level the score. Just before half time a break in the centre allowed the visitors to take the lead with an unconverted try – 7 – 12 at the interval.
In the second half the speed and quality of the backs began to show and to expose the limitations of the Harlow defence and they ran in four more tries to win by 7 to 33.
Saffron Walden v Bishops Stortford
A close contest between two well matched sides provided good rugby but good defence limited the scoring to one try to Saffron Walden at half time.
The second half was a cut and thrust affair. Stortford went ahead 5 – 12 with two tries before Walden narrowed it to 10 -12. Finally Stortford ran in another try to win by 17 points to 10.
5-0 half time
Harlow v Bishops Stortford
Harlow went ahead when scrum Half Rhys Powell mage a good break to score near the corner. Dobson converted with a good kick from out wide. Stortford responded to level the score at 7 points all at the interval.
As the second half progressed the extra strength of the visitors began to tell and they ran in two more tries for a final score of & – 21 in their favour