Rugby: Rams let Brentwood off the hook

Lifestyle / Tue 17th Dec 2013 pm31 05:24pm

Brentwood 23 v 17 Harlow

HAVING taken an early lead and had control of the game for the first three quarters Harlow allowed Old Brentwood’s to get off the hook in the closing stages. Thanks to the bonus point for losing by 7 points or less and the misfortunes of teams below Harlow hold on to their 5th place but the result goes down as a game they should have won.

Harlow started well and after 6 minutes a break by Rob Mackie, playing at fullback took play into the Brentwood’s half. He was held up but committed two defenders and offloaded to Wayne Heapy who went over for an unconverted try. Ten minutes later the home side reduced the margin to 3 – 5 after Ephgrave was penalized for coming in to the side of a ruck. The score stayed there until 5 minutes from the end of the half when intense rucking by the Harlow pack allowed scrum half Rhys Powell to break wide and reverse pass to Mackie who powered his way over the try line. In the final minute of the half Harlow were penalized for holding the ball on the ground allowing Brentwood’s to narrow the margin to 6 – 10 at the interval.

Harlow started the second half well and with the slope and wind in their favour had the advantage in terms of both possession and territory. Early in the half their backs moved the ball wide for Mackie to come into the line and sprinted over for a try converted by Dobson for a Harlow lead 6 – 17. Although Harlow continued to have possession their high error rate prevented them from converting it into points. Midway through the half the home side No.8 was allowed too much space and broke through to score under the posts. They converted to reduce the margin to 13 – 17. Inspired by this they kept up the pressure driving up hill into the wind and above all maintained discipline. With ten minutes to go they broke the Harlow defensive line to score an unconverted try for an 18 – 17 lead.

Almost immediately on the restart they were back on the attack and their No.8 made a good break. Powell made the tackle but the forward was able to offload to the backs to run in the try. Although Harlow threw everything into the final 8 minutes Brentwood’s held out for the win 23 – 17.

This Saturday Harlow are away to Upminster in the Essex Cup and then on January 4th they resume their league campaign against 3rd placed Sudbury.

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