Two close games for BRFC U14s
By Gosia Hopley
Both teams lose in the final minutes of the games
Today we split the sides and sent one to Tadley and another to Guildford.
Corne and I took 20 of our finest to Tadley, looking to build on the narrow victory we had when we visited them last month. From the kick-off, our boys were on fire and charged through the Tadley defence as if it wasn't there, Lewis and Harry scoring close to the posts and Ethan converting to put us 14-0 to the good. Time for a deep breath.
More great attacking followed and the Tadley tackling improved, but we ground our way up into the 22 again. Tadley conceded a number of penalties, and finally on the 5m line Henry took a quick tap and go knowing all of Tadley were offside and when they infringed again we were awarded a penalty try. 21-0, what a start!
Tadley got one back for 21-5, and as the end of the third approached, we broke from our own half, held some great passes and Luca outpaced their defence to score under the posts to go in 28-5 up at the break.
The second third was really tough, we were playing into the wind, and we rolled the subs as tiredness began to occur. Tadley had a couple of giants - one back row and one centre - and they started to use them more directly, crashing through our defence line. They won the second third 4 tries to nil with 2 conversions, so the total match score was now 29-28 to them.
The final third started with one of the Tadley boys being red-carded for repeated high tackles, but still we were pinned back in our half defending continuously. The boys put in a huge number of tackles, and saved a few near certain tries, a great effort. Suddenly we secured turnover ball and the back line charged out from our 22, passed down the line, supported brilliantly for Billy B to score. We couldn't quite convert, but suddenly we were 33-29 up and looking for the final whistle. Tadley had another player yellow carded for use of elbow in the tackle, but they continued to attack, and finally nailed a converted try with almost the last play of the match.
So final score 36-33 to Tadley, but a brilliant performance from all our boys.
Big thanks to Corne for running the team, Marko for first aid and ice pack(!), and Ian B for keeping score and also taking the shirts home to wash.
I understand that the Guildford match ended up 27-26 to them, a real nailbiter. They scored 4 tries with 2 converted, and a penalty. Our scorers were Matteo, Harrison and 2 for Scott, with Louis W converting 3 of them.
by Phil Wells