U15 league match v Eastleigh
By Chris York
No quarter given by either side in a highly competitive game.
After the monsoon weather of Saturday the pitch was surprisingly in perfect condition for the afternoon kick off. Luckily any Sunday rain held off for the match. With only 15 players available due to injury and illness several players were required to play out of position
With a far bigger side Eastleigh turned up confident of a easy victory, this was not to be so. From the kick off all of the players tackled and rucked with ferocity, however it was Eastleigh who dominated the first 15 minutes scoring two tries on the left, neither of which were converted. Heathens then had the chance to attack, making small inroads with each carry of the ball. Eventually 35 metres out Dave decided to draw the defence and then grubber the ball through. It looked like a bad decision but with great ball control and pace he out stripped both wingers and fullback to score Heathens first try and converting the the try, The play bounced between the two teams with upper hand never being fully taken by either side. Eastleigh managed to break free at one stage and scored yet again on the left, missing the conversion. Back cane Heathens again with great breaks getting them into the 22. With Ethan cajoling them the forwards made great ground with quick pick and goes from the rucks with Kye eventually getting over the line for Heathens second try. Unfortunately the conversion was missed. Half time 12-15.
The second half continued with the same commitment from both sides, with lots of great tackles and rucking. Unfortunately for Heathens Eastleigh managed to cross the try line twice and convert one of the tries. In previous matches the teams would have dropped with the points difference, not in this match was this to happen. If anything it inspired them to play even better rugby. The far smaller and lighter pack started to dominate the scrums and so giving the backs a chance to show their skills. Gradually the team moved down the pitch and into the 22. Eastleigh were equally determined and stopped numerous strong runs by both forwards and backs. This came at a price of giving away several penalties and to the sin binning of their big centre. From the ensuring penalty Will forced himself over the line only to be held up. Several minutes later he again received the ball and this time scored the try, conversion missed. With less than 10 minutes remaining it was now all Heathens on the attack. With determined defence Eastleigh managed to keep Heathens out until the last play of the match when James drove with power and strength over the try line to score, the conversion was made. Final score 24-27.
The commitment and effort put in by all of the players was immense, every single player should be proud of the way that they played. Dan Z was thrown into flanker from his normal wing position and was to;d to tackle any opposition player with the ball. This he did and also made some great inroads with the ball in hand, This play earned him the coaches player of the match. Any one of the 15 could have won this accolade. The entire set of forwards put the larger opposition pack to shame with their commitment and effort. Eastleigh gave Sam man of the match.