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Under 18s 31 v 5 Wasps HML U18D1 - Home League on 11 Nov 2018

Published on Wednesday, 14 November 2018

The first match of a league campaign as U17 champions, started with the visit of newly promoted Wasps to KGV.

The early exchanges were consistent with previous performances this season, strong defence when the opposition were in possession, forcing them back into their own half, but allowing them to relieve the pressure thus applied by giving away penalties through unnecessary offside's and offences at the breakdown. With a stiff breeze against them, this lack of discipline proved less damaging to Hitchin's progress than they deserved. Indeed, with domination of the early lineouts, it was from a penalty clearance and the subsequent set piece, that Stevie found himself running at a back line and two phases later a three man overlap gave Aman the chance to stroll over for the first try.

From the restart, Hitchin enjoyed a period of uninterrupted possession, each phase making inroads as first Ciaran was set clear on the left flank, Sid and Hadley then carried deep into the opposition 22, from a breakdown, infringment the set scrum created an ideal attacking platform, and Connor crossed to extend the lead to 12-0.

A slightly chaotic period followed the restart, the wind caused a few handling errors, the Wasps pack started finding some cohesion at the breakdown and again irritating infringements ceded possession to the London side too often. However, eventually Hitchin found a hole in the visitors defence, and supporting carries from Jack W and Hadley caused Wasps to infringe close to their line, Sharp thinking from Sam B put Connor over for his second try.

Restart, repeat. Possession and ground lost due to another series of penalties, but solid defence and pressure wins back the ball, fast distribution to the wing and significant ground is made. The forwards then take over and grind towards the line before the ball is released for the expected try, however, this time the final pass is intercepted. It is a short-lived respite however, as the clearing punt is returned by Ethan B, and from the breakdown Connor lifts the ball over the remaining defence for Aman to chase and win the race to the touchdown, bonus point and 26-0 lead.

With half time approaching, the visitors now grabbed a lifeline before the turnaround and the wind being to their advantage. Indecision at the restart gave the visitors good field position and some neat kicks put the home side under pressure on their own line, another penalty for offside, a quick tap and the opposition captain grabbed 5 points.


The usual range of personnel changes at half time, and Hitchin began on the offensive. An opportunity was missed with a slack final pass, Wasps used the breeze to clear lines, but Hitchin generally maintained possession. When not controlling the ball, fast pressure defence kept the visitors in their own half, and forced errors, which nearly resulted in breakaway tries for Brent and then Will. A strong burst by Mike supported by Sid took the ball close, but this attack was also repelled. The second half became a hard-fought contest, Wasps unable to put together a series of cohesive phases together to threaten the Hitchin line, primarily due to the classic defence of the home side.

The only score of the half followed a speculative kick from the Londoners, gathered by Jai in broken play he weaved through the initial defence, drew the last man and gave a clinical pass to Will to take the final score to 31-5. Further opportunities were lost due to a fantastic final ditch cover tackle and a couple of wayward final passes.

At the final whistle, the general feeling was one of a job done, but many improvements to be made and points left on the field. With the next fixture 7 days away in the National Cup at Hertford, plenty to work on at training.

Tries: Aman(2), Connor(2), Will

Conversions: Ciaran(3)

Team Stephen Shaw, Jack Wright, Hadley Reed, Sid Davies, Tom McClymont, Ben Reavill, Frederick Rooney, Alexander Baber-Norris, Sam Bellinger, Connor Dudley, Ciaran Sale, Sam Hartnack, Aman Johal, Ethan Lavialle, Ethan Brace

Subs Alex Edwards, Dillon Flood, Jai Johal, Mike Knowles, William Rooney, Brent Morris, Jack Taplin

Scores T: Connor Dudley (2), Aman Johal (2) C: Ciaran Sale (3)



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Hitchin Rugby Limited, King George V Playing Fields, Old Hale Way, Hitchin, Hertfordshire SG5 1XL England, Charity No. 1159772
enquiries@hitchinrugby.com T: +44 (0)1462 432679