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Under 18s 32 v 10 Hertford U18 Cup R2 - Away Cup Draw on 18 Nov 2018

Published on Monday, 19 November 2018

Old rivals Hertford stood in the way of Hitchin’s continued involvement in the U18 National Cup .

A bright crisp day at Hoe Lane greeted the teams and a familiar start as Hitchin kick off the opposition play a few phases without much progress, a penalty infringement and Hitchin back in their half. However, the penalty count today would be much improved, and despite the occasional aberration in discipline and a period when the teamwork was a little loose and disjointed in contact, this was a quality performance against a strong, physical side, who’s lack of options in attack was soaked up comfortably by the Hitchin defence.

Early set piece skirmishes want the way of the home side, taking the first scrum against the head, but this was countered by Hitchin’s better play in the loose and speed around the park. A penalty for holding on in the ruck and collapsing a maul, put Hitchin well into the red-zone. Hertford cleared and when the high ball was spilt, the home side hacked on and nearly scored an unlikely try.

The quality of the Hitchin defence was now tested, pressure eventually telling as the ball came loose in contact and Fred retrieved possession, although possession was lost close to the Hertford line, a hasty kick gave Ethan L. the opportunity to score, forcing his way over the try-line, before losing control of the ball before he could ground it. He made immediate amends however, as he returned the dropout, two sharp phases and Connor stepped through the broken defence to score under the posts.

The restart was fielded will by Sid and ground was made by Will and Hadley, before the play was shifted wide, more possession and a deft kick put the man in maroon close to the Hertford line. As before, the hasty clearance, only found willing runners, and after one phase, Aman ran in to increase the score.

Tom was harshly called for a knock on soon after the restart, but it gave the home side their first decent field position. Hitchin maintained great discipline, with double hits on the ball carriers from the Hertford side. Eventually a kick to the corner, put the home side within 5 metres of the try-line. A sequence of penalties gave the Hertford side the chance to maintain the pressure however, during which the line was reached, but a combination of Jack T, Hadley Alex B-N and Tom held the ball up. Sam b. secured the loose ball from the resulting lineout, but possession has lost before the pack could support him. Hertford maintained their encamped position in the Hitchin 22, Hitchin lost Harry, yellow-carded for collapsing a maul, and at the next attack, the Hertford scrum half drove over wide out.

Hertford fumbled early after the restart, and Hitchin, after 10 minutes of solid defence got back to some quick phases and fast handling, leading to another broken-field score for Connor to give the visitors a healthy 19-5 lead at half-time.


The second half started much as the first had finished, however, a late hit on the scrum-half was penalised and this broke the momentum. Hertford used their narrow carrying game to effect, and although Hitchin appeared to have the danger covered, a lack of concentration near the line, allowed the Hertford second row a soft try.

With the glare of the midday sun in their eyes, Hertford fumbled the restart, and this gave a prolonged period of possession to the visitors, with forwards and backs making ground. The pressure of defending forced the Hertford midfield to stop release, and Jai took the three points offered.

The restart was a little messy, but the pack recovered and an escape clearance into touch from Sam B. was perfectly placed, and expertly fielded by Vicky!

Hitchin won the opponents lineout and were now making ground in both attack and defence, wayward passes and lack of depth in attack still let them down on too many occasions, but Hertford handling errors also increased as they started to look fatigued. A second penalty was converted by Jai after another illegal attempt to slow down the game by Hertford to take Hitchin 3 scores ahead.

With the match slipping from their grasp, Hertford managed to put a series of phases together and a superb kick put them within 5 metres of the Hitchin line. Sam B. made another great clearance after the groundwork was lied by the forwards and a strong run from Sam H. Despite a couple of handling errors, the general direction was towards the Hertford line. The final score of the game coming from a central scrum, a quick efficient handling move, allowing Brent to stroll over for a fourth try.

Despite the game being lost, Hertford continued to look for a further score, but Hitchin maintained the quality of defence to complete a 32-10 victory.

So on to round 3 in early February and a third away fixture, this time to Bishops Stortford.

Team Stephen Shaw, Jack Wright, Hadley Reed, Sid Davies, Tom McClymont, Harry Renner-Bennett, Frederick Rooney, Alexander Baber-Norris, Sam Bellinger, Connor Dudley, William Rooney, Sam Hartnack, Aman Johal, Ethan Lavialle, Jai Johal

Subs Alex Edwards, Ethan Brace, Brent Morris, Ben Reavill, Ciaran Sale, Jack Taplin

Scores T: Connor Dudley (2), Aman Johal (1), Brent Morris (1) C: Jai Johal (3) P: Jai Johal (2)



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Hitchin Rugby Limited, King George V Playing Fields, Old Hale Way, Hitchin, Hertfordshire SG5 1XL England, Charity No. 1159772
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