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Under 13Bs v Hackney RFC - Away League on 14 Nov 2010

Published on Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Hackney Bulls U13 vs Hitchin U13 ‘B’


Herts/Middlesex Junior League U13 Division 6


Score: 36-5


Team: Sam J, Toby, Dion, Freddy, Huw, Dan B, George E, Taylor, Sam R, George V, Tom, Will J, Nathan, Aaron, Jamie S.


Subs: OJ (for George E, HT), Charlie (for Dion, HT), Andrew (for Nathan, HT).


Try: Freddy


Hitchin U13 ‘B’ travelled down to East London as they visited Hackney Bulls for the first time for an away fixture at one of the early pace setters in the division. The ground is in a public park, next to the river Lea. Loos are in the rowing club and there is a fine cafe on the riverside. The hosts went into this game having won both of their previous fixtures and were largely an unknown quantity as both teams lined up for the start of the match.


After observing 2 minutes silence for Remembrance Sunday the referee got the game under way and the opening exchanges gave the spectators watching a good indication of the way the match was going to be played, with both sides tackling ferociously in an attempt to get the early opening. Unlike previous matches this season Hitchin were switched on from the very start with Taylor collecting well and making ground before being forced back by the challenge of the Bulls strong forwards. A good clearing kick by George (V) soon after was chased down by Aaron to good effect as the ball was turned over and Hitchin worked the ball well along the backs as they moved the play neatly across from left to right in an attempt to make ground.     


Hitchin were playing some well organised rugby and were taking the game to Hackney when they fell behind to the first try of the day as the home side managed to resist several strong Hitchin tackles to power over the line and score under the posts. This allowed an easy conversion which was duly taken successfully to see the Bulls take a 7-0 lead.


The restart saw no let up in the tempo of the match as a great tackle from Dan B forced a knock on and from the resultant successful scrum the ball was once again played well along the back before being held up just short of the line. This was followed by a break by Aaron and a super run from Dan B who managed to break free from a ruck within sight of the Bulls try line before being halted by some solid defending by the home team. Hitchin were competing well across all areas of the field with Will J and Aaron combining well to hold up the threat of another Hackney breakaway and winning a penalty for their efforts. Hitchin continued to press looking for an equaliser with George (V) kicking well. A fine breaking run by Sam R was continued by Freddy and as he played the ball back, a smart offload by Tom saw the ball move along the back line once again before the move came to an end with Aaron being stopped by a great saving tackle by a Bulls player in the corner.


Soon after this some quick thinking by Sam R saw the ball reach Nathan who set off on an explosive run towards the line before being held up after which the ball then found its way to George E who also was held up just short of the line. Hitchin kept the pressure up with some good work by Dion, freed the ball to Nathan who once again was just unable to get over. The hard work soon paid off though as a penalty near the line saw Freddy get the ball down following a superb drive by the forwards and move the score to 7-5.


Unfortunately Hackney were able to respond almost immediately from the restart as a knock on allowed them to win a scrum close to the Hitchin try line. The ball came out to their big No. 8 (scorer of their first try) who collected the ball and ran through to score once again and increase their lead to 12-5. Hitchin restarted with a great run by Tom but somehow the ball fell to the Bulls No. 8 and his response was to run through the Hitchin ranks unhindered to score under the posts again and stretch the lead further to 19-5. By now it was obvious that he was the player that was the most danger to Hitchin yet inexplicably the visitors managed to kick the ball straight to him again and they were duly punished when he ran through virtually unhindered to score his sides fourth try of the half. A great tackle and run by George E followed soon after this but the half ended with the visitors trailing 24-5. Confusion reigned about the length of the match, as the ref had played 30 minutes in the 1st half (supposed to be 25 mins) It was proposed that the 2nd half be 15 minutes, but manager David stepped in to ensure the boys had the maximum time allowed to attempt a comeback. Sadly it was in vain. 


The second half started with a good break by Hackney which was stopped by some fine hold up play by Tom but soon after this a penalty to the hosts once again saw the ball played out to their No. 8 who rounded off a fine individual performance to go over for his fifth try and push the score on to 31-5.  However despite this Hitchin refused to allow their heads to drop and continued to play as well as they had throughout the match, despite the somewhat unrepresentative score line. The forwards were mauling well and were looking impressive in the scrum whilst the backs were also enjoying some good passages of play with Tom in particular running well with the ball. A clever kick and chase first by Tom and then another by George (V) saw Hitchin still trying to press for a second try of the day and Aaron also almost got clear before being held up. Will J then got a great tackle in on the Bulls No. 8 as he tried to break free again but as the ball fell loose Hackney were able to capitalise on a lack of cover in the Hitchin ranks as they played the ball sweetly along their line and ran into the corner to move score and push the score up to 36-5.


This still failed to cause Hitchin heads to drop as was evident when Nathan chased with determination from the restart which caused panic amongst the Hackney defence and saw the awarding of a penalty to Hitchin very close to the Bulls try line. From this the ball was run well along the back line and almost into the opposite corner by Aaron before he was held up by some solid Bulls defence. The play continued in this corner of the pitch as Aaron came close again and a run by Tom played the ball into Freddy who finally got over the line but unfortunately the ball was dropped and so the try was not given.


By this time the forwards were puffing. As the game drew to a close Nathan put in another fine tackle on the Bulls No. 8 and as the ball spilled free Huw collected it and set off on a splendid run which was then matched by a large amount of determination as he refused to allow the ball to be ripped from his grasp despite the best efforts of several Hackney players.


In terms of the match and Hitchin’s performance this was probably a fitting end to the contest as this was an accurate reflection of the amount of effort and determination that every player had put into the game. Overall it was a magnificent team performance with good organisation, great scrummaging and forward play, and some lovely movement of the ball by the backs. This sadly wasn’t reflected in the score line on the morning but it should be noted that Hackney were a good strong side (as is reflected by their league position - they are now top) and a fine virtuoso performance by their No. 8 which helped to seal the win. We had some pleasing words from the Bull's head coach....

It was a pleasure to play your team, not least because you, your colleagues/parents and your boys clearly love the game and relished the encounter. We observed very clearly a side that had been well drilled, and I envy the organisation and intelligence your boys showed particularly in the scrums, rucks and running from set play. We have a lot to learn, and are very aware that the score didn't reflect accurately the quality of the game. Thank you for making the trip and I very much look forward to our next encounter. Julien. Hackney Bulls RFC .



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