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Rugby: Brave Harlow girls show heart against Hertford

Rugby / Tue 15th Nov 2022 am30 11:17am

Hertford 42 v 34 Harlow.

THIS week saw the u16s take on a last-minute fixture a friendly away to Hertford.

It was an early, cold, and foggy – lovely rugby weather.

A quick look at the opposition saw that they had some big players, one in particular looked like she had wandered into the wrong age group.

But the conditions and the opposition only spurred the Harlow girls into action. Harlow received the kick off and the girls immediately went into attack mode some brilliant passes and rucking saw Harlow gaining ground.

Hertford were putting in some very big tackles, but the Harlow girls marched on. This led to Tasha’s first try where she made a quick break off the back of a ruck and went over in the corner (5-0).

Hertford looked shellshocked but they quickly put their big runners into action. There was some fantastic tackling in the midfield from Lily and Isabelle which gave Grace the chance to hit every ruck possible. There were some great turn overs from the forwards during this phase of play, but Hertford stayed strong and manged to draw the players in and fed the ball wide where they got there first try (5-5). The ball was slippery in the wet conditions and there were a few errors on both sides. This led to a scrum for Hertford who were able to put some good phases of play together to score there second try (5-10).

The Harlow girls had regrouped under the posts and identified where the attack was coming from and set themselves the challenge to score next. They did.

From the kick off Connie chased the ball and the pressure led to a knock on. The scrum saw Tasha go on one of her darting runs with the support from the backs. Both Niamh and Cadence carried well up the middle and saw Lily crash over the line to bring the score level again (10-10).

This really encourage the girls to go back on the attack. Some fantastic hands from Wiktoria and Abi meant that the ball was out on the wing very quickly. With still a lot of work to do Kaiyah smashed through two Hertford players to score her first try for Harlow (15-10). From the restart Harlow again applied the pressure some excellent work from Elise and big carries from Niamh meant we were back on Hertford’s try line. They defended really well but couldn’t keep Tasha from scoring her second try which was converted by Wiktoria (22-10).

Halftime 22-10.

This was remembrance Sunday and Hertford had arranged for all the fixtures to stop for a 2-minute silence on the first team pitch while the Trumpeters played ‘The Last Post’. It was brilliant to see so many young people pay their respects, and this was organised beautifully by Hertford.

Back to the rugby. The half-time stoppage seemed to break Harlow’s flow and gave Hertford the rest that they needed. They came out the blocks very strong and fast and quickly scored under the posts. (22-15). The next 15 minutes saw the run of play, the weather, and the ref decisions all go Hertford’s way. This saw Hertford score three more tries meaning Harlow were now losing (22-30). Just as Hertford looked to finish the game off, Tasha ran 60m back to tackle the opposition after they had crossed the line causing a knock on and gave Harlow another chance to attack. Again, lots of hard carries by both the forwards and backs made lots of meters up the pitch. The rucking and mauling were superb. Hertford’s defence never gave up and were still making massive hits. Harlow used this to their advantage and pulled in the Hertford players. This saw some great passes through the hands to allow Connie to finish strong (27-30).

Harlow were back in it but the physicality of Hertford’s senior players and rolling subs were too much for Harlow. Hertford scored two more (27-42). After watching some rather unusual celebrations from Hertford the Harlow girls had a frank conversation under the posts and wanted to finish strong even though the time left meant they could not win. Harlow fought all the way up the pitch and every girl did their job excellently they worked through multiple phases to see Wicktoria score under the posts and convert her own try (34-42).

Final Score 34-42.

Although the result didn’t go Harlow’s way the performance was excellent. The girls never gave up. The ran and ran for the full match supporting and playing for each other even when the game was out of reach. The communication and leadership from Lily, Tasha and Grace was phenomenal. Harlow are due to play Hertford in a league fixture in December and the girls can not wait.

Player of the week was extremely hard this week. There were many outstanding players Niamh had a fantastic game, Tasha was outstanding, Lily led from the front but this week the player of the week went to Wiktoria. This was the first time she had played 10 not only did she score and manage to convert twice her passing and game management were superb. Well done.

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