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Under 15Bs v Bedford Athletic Rugby Club - Away League on 30 Sep 2012

Published on Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Bedford Blues U15 ‘B’ 12 vs Hitchin U15 ‘B’ 17 (HML Div 6)

Starting XV: Charlie, Toby, Maitiu, Ashley G, James H, Huw, Taylor, George E, George V, Sam R, Matt, Will J, Conor, Bradley, Jamie

Subs: Dion, Jack F, Will M-W (on for Ashley G, Will J & Conor – second half), OJ

Tries: George E (2), Bradley

Conversion: Matt

Hitchin U15 ‘B’ opened their league campaign in earnest on Sunday with a potentially difficult trip to Bedford Blues but despite this came away with a well deserved win.

Although the closeness of the final score might have suggested otherwise Hitchin were the better side from the kick off and a strong start by Hitchin’s forwards saw them win a scrum deep into Bedford territory early on. This freed George E to set off on the first of many marauding runs before offloading the ball for both Bradley and Matt to make good ground. This early pressure very quickly bore fruit as a panicked Bedford defence tried to clear their lines only for Taylor to charge the ball down and force another scrum. This in turn saw George E force his way over to score. A beautifully taken kick by Matt added to an early 7-0 Hitchin lead.

Hitchin then looked to add to their advantage as they continued to dominate in the pack whilst also passing the ball along the back line nicely too. A neat reverse pass by Sam R highlighted the growing confidence in their play as Matt, Will J and Bradley all took turns to run at the Bedford defence.

A rare Bedford foray was quickly dealt with by a good clearing kick from Sam R as Hitchin continued to control the game and soon after a sweet chip and run by Bradley forced the ball back towards the Bedford goal line. An arm injury then saw Huw replaced by Dion and a slight re-arrangement in the Hitchin pack but the forwards continued to maintain a grip on the game with an excellent controlled drive which made at least 20 yards into the Bedford half. This was quickly followed by a great run by Conor on the wing before being bundled into touch until finally Hitchin were rewarded with a second try. A classic move saw yet another strong scrum by Hitchin followed by George V passing the ball out to Will J who charged up field and sold a great dummy before laying off the ball to Bradley who finished excellently in the corner to put Hitchin into a well deserved 12-0 lead.

Hitchin then switched off slightly and allowed Bedford to respond with a try just before half time with what was effectively their first real attack of the half. Another good conversion kick added to the score as the half drew to a close with Hitchin 7-12 ahead. H-T 7-12

The second half began with Bedford picking up where they left off as they looked to get back on level terms and they were quickly rewarded when an attempted clearance by Sam R was charged down and run over the line for a try. A successful conversion then saw Bedford pull the score back to 12-12.

Buoyed by this Bedford were now starting to look like the stronger side but Hitchin rallied and began to regain the upper hand that they had held throughout the first half. A great chase for a loose ball by Conor forced a line out in the Bedford half and from this Hitchin were soon working the ball up field again, culminating in a storming run by Ashley. Hitchin were starting to pin Bedford back in their own half once more with Matt collecting the ball and jinxing his way towards the try line before being held up.

Hitchin kept the pressure up as they tried to find a way through, with James particularly effective in the ruck. Good work by George E and Maitiu helped to push Hitchin nearer to the line until a series of poor passing and handling caused the move to break down, much to Bedford’s relief.

A series of substitutions then saw Zac, Jack and BMW enter the fray as Hitchin continued to push Bedford back in their own half, forcing them to concede a penalty within kicking distance which despite another good kick from Matt just failed to go between the posts. Undeterred, Hitchin continued to look for the winning try as Sam followed up a good George V kick deep into the Bedford half but he was unable to get to the ball before the Bedford player who managed to place the ball down just in time.

As the clock ticked down it was starting to seem like Hitchin might have to settle for a draw despite their overall dominance, but they never gave up pounding on the Bedford door until finally they got their reward. Another storming run by George E saw him make 20-30 yards before being held up but from the resulting scrum he was on hand again to run through and score the winning try that the team’s performance merited. F-T 12-17

So in the end Hitchin ‘B’ got the result that they deserved despite the final score being closer than perhaps it should have been given the dominance that Hitchin showed throughout the match. A great team performance saw them restrict Bedford ‘B’ to their own half for long spells whilst only allowing them two really meaningful attacks during the match. Hopefully they can build on this performance as the league campaign progresses.

Man of the Match: James – excellent performance and strong throughout. Also a special mention for Toby – possibly one of his best performances in a Hitchin shirt to date.



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