Rugby: Harlow are the real deal against the Mavericks

Rugby / Tue 29th Nov 2022 at 08:13am

HARLOW maintained their 100% win rate on Saturday with a 66 points to nil victory against Mavericks RFC.

Although the score would seem to indicate an easy day for the Redmen it was anything but as a tenacious and well coached Mavericks team made the home side work hard in every aspect of the game and it took some well crafted tries created by excellent handling of the ball to see Harlow take the day.

From the start the visitors used their large forwards to try and dent the red line but good dog defence led by Will Garner and Louis Melton kept them at bay. On about the seven minute mark winger Harry Masini broke out of his own half and from this possession accurate short passing put front rower Jack Christy in under the posts for his first try of the season, Danny Smith added the extras. As in fact he did again about ten minutes later when Sam Bucknall produced a lovely show and go to deceive the opposition defence and run in behind the posts for his first try for the club.

With the Mavericks scrum being being superbly anchored by prop Harry Morgan, Harlow found it hard to achieve their normal amount of clean possession, so it was from the line out where hooker Tom Garner threw straight and clean to find skipper Jack Elston and Will Garner with regularity that allowed Creasey to set the backs away.

It was from this avenue that Harlow scored again as from a five metre line out a well executed drive saw Tom Garner emerge with a smile and the ball to take the score which was added to by Smith’s tidy conversion. The Mavericks came back at Harlow but a mixture of stout defending and the visitors lack of a clinical edge prevented them from getting near the red zone and troubling the score board. Harlow did get it turning again twice more before the break, firstly on the thirty minute mark when Smith delivered a perfect flat pass to allow centre Scott Whitby to pierce the visitors defence and dot down for the converted score, and just before oranges when speedy handling again gave the opportunity for Joel Drake to get airborne close to the left touch line for a magnificent finish.

Drake was in the action again not long after the restart as he completed a fine low tackle which gave Whitby the opportunity to jackal over the opposition player and gain the penalty that eventually led to Rob Macpherson-Smith side stepping his defender to go in 10 metres to the left of the sticks for five points, which Smith improved to seven. Tidy handling then put Masini in for his tenth try of the season, and his fellow winger

Drake then joined him on double figures when he flew in somewhat less elegantly than his first score after good work by Whitby and Tom Garner. With the bench emptied

Harlow started to stamp their authority on the scrum set piece with both Dan Stevenson and Josh Drake giving fresh impetus to the proceedings allowing the Latton Park side a stream of possession which tested a valiant but tiring Mavericks defence. Bucknall took advantage of this to break the line again and create a two on one for Creasey to take his pass and out race the approaching defenders to score, Smith did the honours with the two.

Harlow’s last score came from a Mavericks turn over on their own line which spoke volumes for their willingness to compete, unfortunately their clearing kick found Creasey who ran it back at a fractured defensive line and his pass was latched onto by Ellis Hester who had caused problems with his direct running since his introduction off the bench, and again on this occasion the youngster exploited a gap to burn off the cover and give Smith his eighth conversion of the game. A tenth bonus point win on the trot is a fine achievement but as this game showed no opposition is going to roll over to allow that run to continue, so the hard work continues and the standards driven ever upwards.

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