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Rugby: Harlow rampant in final friendly

Rugby / Fri 13th Sep 2013 am30 10:09am

Harlow 43 Stevenage 0
Friendly pre-season warm up game

HARLOW had looked forward to a hard challenge in their last warm up game before the start of the league campaign. Early in the first half however they found they had the edge over the visitors. They took full advantage of the situation and at every opportunity put moves from the training field into practice. Eight minutes into the game they took clean ball from a lineout inside the visitors 22 and immediately set up a rolling maul. Kain Claridge the No8. peeled off with the ball and touched down for an unconverted try. Only minutes later Harlow were again in possession mid-field and near the half way line. Powell launched his backs and Curtis Knightly at centre made a break outpacing one defender and brushing off another in a 40 yard run from which he passed inside to winger Chris Webb to touch down for the try. Dobson converted for a 12 – 0 lead. The dominance of the Harlow pack gave them possession and territory with the majority of the play in the Stevenage half. A third Harlow score came from an identical move to the first. From a penalty Dobson found touch about 10 yards out from the Stevenage line and again Claridge came away from the rolling maul to touch down. Dobson was on target with the conversion from out wide making the score 19 -0. The visitors made one or two threatening breaks but Harlow tackling was good. When they kicked for territory Mackie was safe under the high ball. It was Mackie who scored the next try for Harlow; the forwards had possession once again but this time passed out to the full back who had come up into the line. Just before half time the forwards were in an attacking position again and this time they kept the ball in tight and drove over the line for tight head prop Dave Roze to touch down for the try making it 29 -0 at the interval.

Stevenage seemed to have made good use of the interval to review their strategy. They started the second half much stronger and good attacking play by their backs took the game into the Harlow half. They secured good possession from a scrum and drove into the Harlow 22. When Harlow were penalized they went for a lineout near the corner and drove for the line. Harlow held the out but could not get the ball clear. The kept Harlow under pressure for at least another ten minutes coming close to scoring on several occasions. The game continued as a more equal cut and thrust and it was only in the closing stages that Harlow were able to assert themselves again. Flanker Josh Drake broke clear to touch down from a drive by the Harlow pack and then Wayne Heapy at centre went over for a try. Chris Webb converted both tries for a final score of 43 – 0.

Tries: Claridge (2), Webb, Mackie, Roze, Drake, Heapy
Conversions: Dobson (2), Webb(2)

Team: 1   J Ephgrave, 2   M Bowering, 3   D Roze, 4   M Twinner, 5   K Palmer, 6  Elliot White, 7 J Drake, 8   K Claridge, 9   R Powell, 10  M Dobson, 11  S Banks, 12  C Knightley, 13  W Heapy, 14 Webb, 15   R Mackie

Replacements:  S Roberts  M Branch

Next Saturday Harlow are at home to Canvey Island in the first weekend of the league. Last season produced home and away wins for Harlow but it is likely that the visitors will have been team building over the summer. Harlow have played more rugby than usual in the run up to the season and are well prepared. However they have not had much time on the park against opposition similar to that they can expect in the league so they will have to wait until Satruday’s game to see what their real strength is this year.

The game is scheduled to kick off at 3pm and supporters are welcome; admission is free.

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