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Rugby: Honours even for Colts in first game of the season

Rugby / Mon 19th Sep 2022 pm30 04:21pm

Harlow Colts 14 v 14 Upminster Colts
Report by Harlow Rugby Club

WE took on our first opponents today as the Colts team after a summer of meeting new coaches, players and building friendships. We prepared a lot and tried our best in a very closely contested match.

The lads all showed great respect for the passing of our late Queen and were impeccable in the minute silence before the game.

Once this was completed with due decorum, it was time for the rugby to begin. We started strong, receiving the kick off with hard and sure runs at a solid Upminster defence. Tolu managed to break the line a few times, as did Henry and Jamie but we did not manage to convert our chances. 0-0

The scrum was strong and dominant throughout with Upminster clearly struggling to counter our pack’s strength and technique. Upminster gained possession a few times through some scrappy play with possession swapping between the sides. Midway through the half our attacking speed was hard to live with. 0-0

A quick pass from Jack at the base of a scrum led to great hands all along the back line until a burst through and spectacular, winding solo try dancing past defenders from Jamie O. Harlow lead 5-0. Joseph P teed up the ball and slotted the conversion with ease. 7-0 Harlow.

We defended well from the restart but Upminster kept on the pressure with good field position. We rucked and counter-rucked with precision but the continued pressure along with some slick offloads from Upminster led to an overload on the blindside after a hard-fought ruck. A soft try which was converted. 7-7.

From the restart both forwards and backs attacked Upminster, trying to find a small hole to burst through. Matt managed to break into open ground before being cut down by the full back in a big hit. We followed this attack but unfortunately were repelled. A variety of good kicks from the Upminster back line resulted in Harlow once again defending our line. A small tussle erupted with all of the boys standing up for each other. A scrum was awarded where we marched the Upminster pack back. And with that it was the end of the half. 7-7

HALF TIME 7-7.

After the break Harlow charged down Upminster and kept up pressure on the Upminster try line but could not find a way through. Having conceded a penalty we were slowly pushed back down the field. Upminster were certainly in the ascendancy and scored another try which was converted. 7-14 Upminster.

The opposition clearly had grown in confidence and they continued to try and penetrate our line. Thankfully due to some top rucking from Daniel and Atakan we won the ball back and Joseph P cleared our lines to relieve the pressure. Substitutions were made and the fresh legs had an almost immediate impact. Montelle and Jacob broke down the wing after Joseph P drew the defenders – a kick and chase by Montelle was almost completed but for a touchback by the Upminster full back. From the drop out we ran back the ball strongly and Kai managed to hold off three defenders to ground the ball near the posts. The try was once again converted by Joseph P. 14-14.

Upminster were rattled and the restart didn’t go ten so we could use some probing kicks and strong runs from Henry and Kai to force our way into the 22 again in search of a game winning try. Our passes were not accurate enough and a powerful and darting run from the big Upminster centre almost looked like our undoing as he ran over 40 metres into our half before being cut down by Montelle in the full back position. 14-14

Harlow began probing the back field of Upminster with some great kicks over the top from our backs with touchbacks resulting in kicks from behind the Upminster line. On a different day these would have been collected and the game would be ours, not today though. 14-14

We had a few more scums and lineouts to show our dominance with Corey stealing opposition throws throughout the game and our pack marching them back in each scrum. As the end neared we did not have the cutting edge to win the game. 14-14

FT 14-14.

A really good game of strong runs, standout performances and well-needed time on the field. We performed really well and all of the lads should be proud. It will be a good season if we perform like we did today.

Try Scorers:

Jamie Oliver (1)

Kai Young (1)

Conversions:

Joseph Pankhurst (2)

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