Herts Middx League
Under 16 A
On the 13 th Jan, OA’s Under 16s A’s travelled to Rosslyn Park for their first league match of the season and geared up to play in extremely windy conditions, upon a fantastic 3G pitch.
The conditions were difficult for both teams. The first quarter of the match was extremely even and Rosslyn were fast to the ball, showed great body position and aggression at the breakdown, although OA’s consistently soaked up the pressure (excellent and brave defensive work by Guy and other backs continually thwarting Rosslyn attacks) and finally OA’s got into an attacking position themselves, by the Rosslyn try line and drove over for a try. 7-0 (score by Fergus).
However, although up by a score, OA’s failed to capitalise on the advantage of a strong wind in their favour and started the second half slightly ahead but with a strong wind against them.
Within the first 5 minutes of the second half, a high kick by the OA’s number 10 was caught by the powerful Rosslyn Centre who powered into the corner for a try. No conversion. 7-5 to OA’s.
Given the conditions, and small score advantage, this made the second half prospects look ominous for OA’s but they did not panic, they regrouped and within a few minutes a superb kick and chase by Will got OA’s in a fantastic position in the Rosslyn half and the increasingly aggressive OA’s pack determinedly drove towards the Rosslyn line, finally getting into a position where Fergus could go the final few yards and score again for OAs. 12 – 5 (another try for Fergus)
Halfway through the second half, OA’s were growing increasingly aggressive in open play and hitting the rucks with much greater fire power. With Rosslyn under pressure continually, Marcus capitalised and made a fantastic interception of a wayward Rosslyn pass in the centre, turned on the gas and cruised in under the posts for another OA’s score. Difficult kicking conditions still prevailed. No conversion. 17 – 5.
In the final quarter, the OA’s machine was really cruising into gear, the Christmas break had been dusted off and the forwards were increasingly dominating open play, Nick and Travis putting consistent pressure on Rosslyn flankers, Ethan and Robbie competing at the rucks with sustained ferocity and Sasha taking control of the scrums and line outs.
Again – the OAs team worked progressively towards the Rosslyn line, got into a fantastic attacking position and George polished off a determined move with another try. 5-24, bonus point and a fine win.
This was a true team performance, measured and controlled with excellent decision making and communications between the team. The forwards had to up their performance in the second half and take some pressure off of the OA’s scrum half and managed to make that transition at the crucial time. This will be needed for the rest of the season with some big games to be played over the next few months.
Very positive signals of the capabilities of the OA’s squad. When every player steps up to the plate, they are a force to be reckoned with, great skills and controlled physicality.
OA’s 24 – Rosslyn Park 5
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There are no previous fixtures between these teams.