Herts Middx League
Under 13 A
Weather Conditions: Fine – Damp Under foot great for running rugby. Exceptional pitch for the spectator (OA Pitch 6).
A much-anticipated league game against Ealing who are a well-respected club who the OA’s coaches benchmark themselves against. It prompted the best first half performance I’ve seen from an OA’s side this season.
Squad: Josh Addo, James Baxter, Tom Baker, Sebastian Brindley, Charlie Brunt, Freddie Ford, George Hamblett, William Heselton, Max Lach-Szyrma, Leo McGrigor, Lucas Osman, Harry Pope, William Powell, James Skeels, Toby Trewin, Thomas Visaya-Neville, Mylo Watson.
First Half (11:0):
It was very similar to the England v New Zealand display in the first half. The coaches worked their magic in the warm up with Phil focused on the scrum / and backs being intelligently led by Ossie and Kim. There were a few changes in the starting line up’s personnel, however, it shows that we are benefiting from a large pool of talented committed players in this age group.
With OA’s (notorious slow starters) taking the game to Ealing from the whistle.
Ealing kicked off and OA immediately were on the front foot, Seb received the ball from the kick off and the backs moved the ball quickly out-wide, Toby joined the line drew his man beautifully and put Freddie into space who used his hand-off effectively to score OA’s first try in the corner.
OA’s second try came straight from the kick off, with Seb handing off 3 opponents before scoring his first try.
It was time for the OA forward pack to start to contribute with the first scrum called by the referee. Great hooking by James Skeels and great body positions from the whole pack led to a turn-over followed by quick ball from the subsequent ruck. After that a brave run by Mylo where he beat 3 defenders, set up a second try for Seb to score which was OA’s third.
Ealing went forward and retained by ball from kick off, however a strong tackle from James led to a second scrum with Ealing knocking on. The strong scrum led to a fine backs move with Toby finishing off in the corner (OA’s 4 try).
From kick off, Seb kicked into space. OA forwards followed up and won the ruck then Charlie used his fast feet to set up Max to score (OA’s 5th try).
The subsequent kick off from Ealing led to the OA’s setting up a very effective backs move with Josh and Lucas looping and Toby joining the line, delaying his pass and creating space for Freddie to score his second in the corner. (OA’s 6th try).
It prompted some of the spectators on the side lines to suggest that OA’s were a reasonable outfit!!
However, OA were still hungry. Harry Pope replaced Mylo as he was winded. This didn’t alter the quality of the Rugby being played with Harry feeding Max a couple of mismoves involving Seb, Josh, Max and Toby. Max subsequently scoring in the corner for his second. (OA’s 7th try).
Some strong tackling from OA’s led to 2 kicks from Seb and Charlie which enabled Charlie to score. (OA’s 8th try).
The Ealing players at this point really took the game to OA and pushed then back to their twenty-two. However, Seb ripped the ball off one the Ealing forwards and ran out wide and fed the ball to Freddie to score his third try. OA’s 9th Try.
OA’s scored a further 2 tries with Harry and Josh crossing the line.
So, at the break, OA’s led 11:0
Second Half (3:4):
Kim / Phil introduced their ‘game changers’ at half time with William and Tom coming on for George and James Baxter.
Phil Regan the Ealing coach offered some words of wisdom and fired up the Ealing boys who showed real commitment and resilience in the second half and came back so strongly to win the second half.
Highlights of the second half were Charlie’s fine solo effort through the middle with dancing feet. (OA’s 12 Try) his second.
An unstoppable try from Max for the kick off (OA’s 13th try) his 3rd try.
A lovely team try combining backs and forwards for Josh to score (OA’s 14th try) his second try.
There were lots of fine solo forward runs from William, George, Leo and Tom Baker to give OA’s field position in this half.
Ealing scored 2 backs’ tries and 2 forwards’ tries to win the hotly contested second half.
At 11:00 all the boys and spectators and coaches beautifully observed the minutes silence on the half way line.
All the OA/ Ealing boys contributed to a fine sporting team display. Ealing joined us in the bar afterwards and are looking forward to the return friendly fixture on the 9th December 2018.
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There are no previous fixtures between these teams.