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Rugby: Wanstead found wanting against Rams

Lifestyle / Thu 31st Oct 2013 at 03:06pm

Harlow 39 v 12 Wanstead
London & SE Div III NE

HARLOW turned around their fortunes on Saturday with a convincing win over second placed Wanstead. An indication of their dominance of the game was that in less than forty minutes they had scored the four tries necessary for the bonus point. The visitors with the slope and the wind in their favour did get back into the game in the second half but even then Harlow matched them try for try to maintain their control of the game. This puts Harlow in 7th place in the 12 team league; a very important result as several of their closer rivals also won and without the league points and bonus point their position would have been seriously threatened.

Harlow were on the the attack from the start although Wanstead pressed them back briefly before their pack took control at both ruck and maul; a dominance they were to retain for most of the game. Eight minutes in the visitors were penalized for not releasing the ball and Dobson coped with both rain and wind to put the ball safely over for a 3 point lead. From the restart Harlow were quickly back on the attack. Several drives by their pack were kept out before scrum half Rhys Powell made a blind side break to touch down in the corner.

Dobson was again on target for a 10 – 0 lead. At the start of the second quarter when a drive was held up the ball went to Luke Bowering at centre who cut in for the try, this time unconverted. Wanstead managed to hold Harlow at bay almost up to half time but then on 38 minutes a good break by Gareth Powell at outside centre produced another try, again converted. Harlow took control immediately from the re-start and open side flanker Josh Drake scored the all important fourth try; converted by Dobson for a 29 – 0 lead at half time.

The game was being played in difficult conditions of wind and rain which made the slope on the Harlow pitch a bigger advantage than usual. For the first quarter of an hour Harlow had to defend several phases of Wanstead pressure but in the end they found a gap in the Harlow defensive line to score their first try. From the restart Harlow responded and a few minutes later the ball went out to Jamie Fricker who had come on as a replacement on the wing. His speed proved too much for a Wanstead defence and he ran in for an unconverted try.

As time progressed the fatigue of competing against the conditions began to tell for both teams. With four minutes to go Wanstead broke down the Harlow defence for a try close to the posts this time converted, making the score 34 – 12 to Harlow. Harlow responded immediately and on securing the ball moved it to Fricker who was just in his own half. He sprinted 50 yards dodging round 3 defenders in the process to touch down in the corner for the try of the match. Minutes later the game finished at 39 – 12 to Harlow.

Tries: Rhys Powell, Luke Bowering, Gareth Powell, Josh Drake, Jamie Fricker (2)
Conversions: Michael Dobson (4).
Penalty: Michael Dobson

Team: 1. James Ephgrave, 2. Mark Bowering, 3. Danny Stonehouse, 4. Mark Twiner, 5. Kerry Palmer, 6. Shaun Roberts (Capt.), 7. Josh Drake, 8. Kain Claridge, 9. Rhys Powell, 10. Michael Dobson, 11. Chris Webb, 12. Luke Bowering, 13. Gareth Powell, 14. Neil McMullen, 15. Rob Mackie,

Replacements: (all used) 16. Paul Prindiville, 17. Elliot White, James Fricker.

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