Herts Middx League
Under 13 B
Man of the match:
FIRST HALF – OAs 1; Luton 5
Though chilly at first, the bright and sunny morning on Sunday at Woollams was a welcome contrast to the previous weekend’s washout.
The OAs B team started the match slightly apprehensive following rumours of an “army of giants” coming to play from Luton. Whilst one of the Luton team was definitely bigger than most of the watching adults, the pre-match fears of giants were fortunately unfounded.
That said, right from the whistle as Luton kicked off, it was clear the game was going to be a physical and unrelenting one, with Luton taking any, and every, opportunity to punish OAs for their mistakes. This was evidenced by a Luton try within the first five minutes, following a scrum on the OAs 22. Although OAs won the scrum, a kick to touch didn’t quite make it and in reply Luton managed to break through the OAs defensive line to score.
Despite conceding an early try, OAs remained positive with Hugo Laing setting the right tone for OAs with a great forward drive, punching through the Luton line before the ball was quickly passed out to the OA backs and an excellent piece of running from Toby Trewin who was eventually stopped on the Luton 22.
Throughout the first half, Luton remained on the attack. Although OAs’ defensive play managed to force numerous errors from the Luton team, OAs needed to do more to make the first tackles count and not give Luton space and time to run.
Towards the end of the first half, excellent attacking from OAs, Josh Addo and Tariq El-Jumaily in particular, resulted in the Luton line being broken through on several occasions. The sustained pressure from OAs was eventually rewarded as Daniel Edworth broke a number of tackles to set up Josh Addo to score OAs first try.
But Luton came back strong and forced a number of OAs handling errors that inevitably resulted in further tries being conceded, as Luton used the possession and their fast wingers to full effect.
SECOND HALF – OAs 1; Luton 6
Luton put OAs under pressure right from the start and a Luton interception as OAs passed the ball out to the backs following a successful OAs’ ruck, resulted in Luton scoring within the first few minutes. Interceptions were a problem on two further occasions when Luton somehow managed to catch the ball mid-air as OAs dispatched it down the line following successful scrums. Each time Luton’s wingers made the most of the turnover to score.
Scrummaging was challenging throughout the match, with numerous scrums needing to be reset multiple times, and not for any particular fault of OAs. Despite the larger size of the Luton pack, OAs held their own in the scrum throughout the match.
A highlight of the second half was when a superb tackle from Harry Crawley caused gasps from the crowd as he took down the enormous Luton number 8, proving unequivocally that giants are not invincible after all.
Though beginning to look tired as the second half progressed, OAs continued to pressurise Luton pinning them within the Luton 22 for much of the latter stages of the second half. In the final few minutes a high tackle on Hugo Laing by the Luton scrum half resulted in a red card for the number 9 after some “chat” with the referee. Following the foul, OAs took the penalty five yards out from the Luton try line, and in a fitting response to the earlier high tackle, Hugo Laing pushed through the Luton line to score the final try of the match.
Without doubt, the score in the second half didn’t reflect what was a more evenly balanced game, with OAs possession being much improved on the first half.
Final Score: OAs 2; Luton 11
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There are no previous fixtures between these teams.