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Under 15Bs 26 v 21 Royston Rugby Club - Home League on 13 Jan 2013

Published on Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Hitchin 26- Royston 21.

HML 6.

13th January 2013 – Kick off – 1030.

Tries George E 2, Aaron D, James

Cons Matt 3.

Hitchin started their 3rd League match wanting to keep their 100% record. The game kicked off to Royston who displayed the intent they had through the entire game by running the ball at Hitchin. The first 5 minutes saw big physical play in the centre 3rd with both sides recycling well and running at the opposition. Hitchin scrummaged and mauled well showing real dominance. The first break of the game came when Hitchin forced a handling error on the their 22 and Matthew, Luke and Zac kicked and chased the ball through into Royston in goal area, but were just denied the try by some good covering by the Royston backs


The 22 drop out saw Royston work their way back up the field right up to the Hitchin line, aided by Hitchin gifting them penalties for offside and being matched back 10 metres on 2 occasions. Royston managed to get the ball over the try line but it was held up. The 5 meter scrum saw great pressure from George Vivian and the forwards to move Royston back to the 22, but a couple more offsides and some slick movement from the Royston backs saw the inevitable try, which was converted.  The indiscipline was compounded by back chat that saw Matthew being sin binned for dissent, giving the Hitchin lads a double blow of being behind 0-7 and a man down.


From kick off Royston made the most of the extra man with another quick try, run in by their backs from the half way line. The Hitchin team had learned their lesson about keeping quiet even though the crowd were very vocal about a knock on that they thought referee had missed. So in the space a couple of minutes Royston were in a commanding position, 0-14 ahead.


Hitchin responded well though from the kick off and dug in moving the ball well into Royston territory and eventually crossing the line in a forward drive only for the ball to be held up. The game continued in the same vein for the next few minutes, with both sides trying to move the ball around but the cold weather meant cold fingers and knock-ons were fairly common. Hitchin worked hard and ensured the extra man didn't count.


Matthew returned to the game and immediately made an impact with a lovely step inside and break through the Royston lines to go over the gain line and get the forwards on the front foot as they recycled the ball through multiple phases into the Royston 22. Feeling the pressure of Hitchin dominance in the forward battle Royston conceded a penalty and the Hitchin forwards took it on culminating in James crashing over the line, only to be held up. Hitchin won the 5 meter scrum and George Eaton picked the ball and drove over for a deserved try. Matthew converts and Hitchin are back in the game as the half ends with the score at 7-14.



Royston kicked off the 2nd half and Hitchin moved the ball forward. After a number of phases of play Royston were penalised for handling in the ruck allowing George Vivian to make good yardage with the kick to touch. The platform allowed the forwards to win the lineout and push forward with George Eaton driving over the line but the referee was unsighted so we came back for a 5 meter scrum.  Cold fingers and a slippery ball meant the put in wasn’t straight and an opportunity was lost. The clearance kick was only to the 22 and Hitchin forwards burst through the line out and pressured Royston into frantic defence resulting in a knock on and another scrum 5 – 6 meters out from the try line.  No mistakes at this scrum and the pack showed their strength with a nudge forward to bind the flankers in and then George Eaton breaking off the back of the scrum and driving over for the try fairly wide on the right. Mathew added the difficult conversion to level the scores at 14-14.


At the kick off  Hitchin gathered the ball and kicked for position, but Royston showed their skills in the backs by breaking a couple of tackles  and inter passing to keep the ball alive, finally finding the decisive gap and touching down between the posts. The conversion was added and after being level for a minute Hitchin were again playing catch up trailing 14-21.  



After the kick off there followed some tight play in the middle of the pitch with both sides moving the ball, but both knocking on in open play and also in rucks.  Finally Hitchin were awarded a penalty that allowed George Vivian to put Hitchin back into the Royston 22. The line out was won and as Hitchin came close to the line another knock on gave possession back to Royston. For once Royston showed forward superiority and won the scrum and then drove the subsequent maul out of their 22 and up to the 10 meter line.  Here Hitchin halted the advance and turned the ball over unleashing Aaron and Spencer down the right hand side to take the ball back into the Royston 22. Unfortunately another penalty at the ruck meant Royston had the opportunity to clear their lines and play moved back up to half way.


Hitchin forwards didn’t give Royston a moment to build anything and again flowed through the line out to drive them backwards and force the mistake. From the ensuing scrum the ball was passed to Spencer, who having made good yards popped the ball to Aaron who ran through to score in the corner. A great backs move. Matthew’s conversion was bang on target, but only just short leaving the score at 19-21.


From the restart, Hitchin gathered the ball and Matthew H kick Hitchin back into Royston’s 22 to re-exert pressure. Royston managed to recover and move play back up to the half way line before being bundled into touch. Hitchin won the lineout and then earned a penalty which again saw the kick to touch push Royston back into their 22. Hitchin forwards took the line out ball and drove through and having recycled a couple of times Maitiu took the ball over the line between the posts but was held up. This gave Hitchin, with only 5 minutes to go, the perfect platform to assault the Royston line. The scrum was won and James picked up the ball and powered over. Matthew was given a straight forward conversion in front of the posts which he slotted precisely to put Hitchin into the lead 26-21.


Taylor gathered the kick off and almost made it back to the half way line before he was stopped. The ball was recycled and again Aaron made a break into Royston territory, but Royston turned the ball over and so a round of kick tennis started with both sides trying to find the territorial advantage. Hitchin came out on top with a line out on the Royston 22. However Royston took the line out and moved the ball in hand up the field. Hitchin tackled well but Royston kept the ball alive and threatened to break the line multiple time. Finally a chip forward was gathered by Luke deep in the Hitchin 22 and he coolly put the ball into touch brining the game to an end.


Great team performance coming back from 2 scores down and recovering discipline to grind out a very hard fought win against a very committed and skilled Royston side that have to be congratulated for the effort and flare they showed.


Man of the match was James, but everyone was mentioned for the commitment and pride they showed.



Team Maitiu Emson, Toby Smith, Charlie Body, Huw Dearn, James Hughes, Taylor Moon, Conor Johnson, George Eaton, George Vivian, Sam Ramsay, Zach King, Matthew Harding, Luke Brazier, William Martin-Wren, Spencer Ryan

Subs Dion Manyau, Ashley Gibson , Nathan Page




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