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Under 10Cs v Old Albanians - Away Friendly on 13 Feb 2011

Published on Tuesday, 15 February 2011

The cougars put in two strong performances at OA's on Sunday and really tested the County Champions!!!

HITCHIN COUGARS v OLD ALBANIANS ‘A’                         Lost 0-15

It was a blustery morn with moody skies in the land of the Albanians.  The Cougars were looking forward to a testing morning against top notch opposition on a nice grassy pitch.

This was a classic game of two halves, with Hitchin getting off to a storming start and dominating the first half in territory 65%, possession 67%, and attacking intent 63%, but sadly not getting a warranted score.  The forwards has their work cut out today as the OA’s front row were clearly in the “big and good” category, but we certainly had the best of the early rucks, keeping ball and driving them back into their half regularly.  The Hitchin platform was being used well with Connor, Ciaran, the Sam’s, and the Ethan’s all eager to get hands on ball and attack OA’s.  The closest we came to scoring was good Alex surge, forwards ruck well, Connor to Ciaran to Sam B & Ethan B just tackled by the OA line, ball loose and Sam K got over with the second of two balls on the pitch, sadly no try.  Other forays into OA territory were made with the forwards setting up good ball and the play being spread wide for our speedsters, but OA’s as expected were very good in the tackle.   Alex, Jack, and Morgan were also tireless on defensive duties, as we’ve come to expect, and this was vital today with some large quick runners bashing our lines.   The backs worked hard on blitz defence to keep OA’s from getting time and space.  However this being OA’s they snuck in at the end of the half with a big forward rumble taking them over the Hitchin line to leave us 0-5 down at the break.   Credit to OA’s in the second half, their forwards proved streetwise in the scrums and line-outs, making it difficult for Hitchin to secure much clean ball.  A Hitchin penalty move went a little astray with the ball ending up going the way that isn’t backwards, giving us a giggle on the sidelines, except John N. who had his head in hands at this point.   Hitchin defensive stars were everywhere, Jack Alex and Morgan, and Rory when he joined the action kept the midfield safe with fierce tackling.  The pressure told though, and OA’s took the lead to 0-10.   The back line were giving OA attackers little time before knocking them back, lots of memorable tackles from Connor & Ciaran in midfield, Sam B & Ethan B joining forces to knock attackers over and Ethan L & Sam K protecting the wide space.  We had a chance to score when Ethan B made a break, and Sam K took the ball on well, but again home defence was strong.   In one of the final plays OA’s powered through for a third score, though we were all scratching our heads wondering how Hitchin could be on wrong end of a 0-15 score-line after a strong performance.

HITCHIN COUGARS v OLD ALBANIANS ‘B’                         Won 40-10

After not quite getting the breaks in the earlier game, this one went very nicely to plan.  The determination out on the pitch to bounce back was fantastic, and Hitchin got off to a flyer.  Alex charge, ruck ball won by forwards, Kai distributing well, Connor to Sam B to Ciaran finding Ethan L wide who cuts inside defender for 5-0 lead.  Sam K almost scores on right with a quick wing burst.  OA’s back at us Sam B tackle, OA looping pass picked out of the air brilliantly by Sam K who runs ¾ of pitch to score for 10-0.  OA’s hit back, ball moved well, Connor and Sam tackles, but forward power gets OA’s over for 10-5.  From restart, Francais ball to Ethan L who makes powerful dash from midfield looping around the right through several tacklers to score, c’est magnifique 15-5.  Good defence all round from Hitchin especially up front from Morgan Alex & Rory, then Ethan L makes two consecutive tackles and pushes OA players off the ball to secure possession.  The next OA attack broken up by Alex tackle and turnover setting Morgan away on good break into OA’s half.   OA’s win ruck but when spreading it wide, again encounter the “Roadrunner” as Sam K plucks the ball from the air and scores for 20-5 before the OA coach could I think be heard gently calling “jolly bad luck boys”.  After the break, Hitchin continued to pressure OA to give them no space, Connor was fast up on another looping OA pass from ruck to get over for 25-5.  OA’s attack broken up by Jack & Kai tackles, break from Ethan B, Sam K supports brought down 5m out, good ruck work, Connor manages to amazingly find small gap on blindside for 30-5 score.  OA’s attack, good defence with Sam K Jack & Morgan turning over ruck possession in our half, ball released to Ethan L who make a strong arcing run around and up right wing to score for 35-5.  OA attack hard, big tackling from Connor, Ethan B, Ciaran but forward power gets them over for 35-10 despite last ditch Ethan L tackle. Hitchin were keen to finish on high, Ethan B up the right taken to touch.  Hitchin win line-out good passing from Connor then Ciaran, Sam B in space and gets the final score for 40-10 win.

A fine morning of rugby, great to see the ball being moved well, essential against a big tackling OA’s side.  Massive defensive effort in the first game, and the second game saw some bold and brilliant attacking moves. 

Player of the week: Connor, great all round play at inside/outside half, strong defence, zippy attack play, and cheekiest blindside try of the season.

Team Morgan Noble, Jack Petre, Alexander Baber-Norris, Rory Fookes, Kai Prpa, Connor Dudley, Ciaran Sale, Samuel King, Sam Bellinger, Ethan Brace, Ethan Lavialle


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