New Milton 17 v Swanage & Wareham colts 40
Friendly match with edge
New Milton very kindly gave the colts a game to help fill the fixture card. This is a tough place to play, from memory we have never beaten them away in junior grade so we were expecting a tough day out.
With a bare 15 Colts at KO there was a good team spirit and although a friendly an edge that I haven't seen so far this season.
From the KO the colts took it to the opposition in blustery conditions playing into the wind. New Milton had their share of possession making the most of their domination in the scrum but wasted this by kicking it down the field. Waiting was Steve who despite playing on Saturday was enjoying his freedom at 15 and ran everything back at them. Linking well with Barnaby, Rory , Aiden and Tom to return the ball back into the opposition half with interest. Steve had a go at an early penalty although well struck the strength of the wind killed the flight. Tries would be needed to win this game.
Although the first 10 min was tough for Lewis at hooker he showed his metal toughing it out and throwing well in the wind to a dominant line-out, now a feature of this years team. Both Ben and Charlie are getting put up high by Finn and George C. In second phase the forwards did well and were hard to stop off loading in the tackle and supporting well. New to the Back row Callum made a nuisance of himself at the breakdown supported by George, Harri and Finn, hitting hard and breaking the line. The secret scavenger Sam was relentless at ruck causing the opposition a headache staying on his feet well over the ball.
George, Lewis and Sam pulled the scrums back together, with the second row we now held our own, and were able to release the backs, strait running from Rory and reverse lines from Barnaby with tight support paid dividends with Charlie giving a huge give and go through a gap to score under the posts for an easy kick for Steve. Barnaby scored through the centers with more strong running.
In open play following a turnover, Aiden had a great run and threw in a crab like side step to send the defenders the wrong way to walk in over the line
After the break New Milton changed their tactics, no doubt after a good talking to at the side line. With the wind in their face they kept ball in hand and with some poor first up tackles made ground up the pitch to score. After their second try there was a call for back to basics play from Swans, there was no need to throw the ball around too much, just hit it up and then release the backs.
Normal service resumed apart from an audacious drop goal attempt from Steve that hit the upright. Handling throughout the team was much improved, tackling improved as did Tom Harridine who didnt get any space in the first half but tackled well who then had some room but just as he was stepping inside the covering tackle was fouled to give the colts a penalty try. Rory ran in another try for the back division built on a strong scrum and fast service from George G who was much more aggressive in the tackle and running hard.
To finish the game Charlie went over with another show and go as both centres ran lines drawing the opposition 10 across the field. A great game to watch. All the forwards gave it heaps of work in the tight and loose getting behind the gain line giving the backs the space they needed.
Ben Hocking (C)
Charlie Gynes (2 x Try)
Barnaby Knibb (1 x Try)
Rory Ferguson(1 x Try)
Aiden Smith (1 x Try)
Steve Woolley ( 5 x conv)