A tale of Triumph and Despair!
A game of two halves that showed a great spirit in the Academy Squad
A tale of triumph and despair. A very different story to the previous week. With East Grinstead only able to field a team 13 Edenbridge agreed in good spirits to go down to 13 a side to allow the fixture to take place. With a overwhelming dominant squad of forwards Edenbridge had to shuffle players around to accommodate the increase in forwards moving some into the back line.
From the outset a East Grinstead kick off led to immediate pressure on the Edenbridge 22. With a few pick and goes around the fringes of the ruck a simple backs move led to a try being scored by East Grinstead and converted. East Grinstead 7-0. With no time pressure was applied again with a high restart which was knocked on just outside the Edenbridge 22. Advantage played allowed EG to move the ball quickly through the hands and score on the far side through their winger.
A big conversion allowed a bit of breathing space for EG. EG 14-0. A long restart allowed some running room for our newly converted inside centre Herb (flanker) to run and break the line of defence several times and a simple off load allowed a try run in under the posts. EG 14 – Edenbridge 7. Another dominant phase of play from Edenbridge allowed a platform for the forwards to find their feet and shove the EG defence back phase after phase, a simple draw and give allowed a overlap and Edenbridge in for their second try. 14 all with 10 minutes of the first half to go.
A lapse in concentration as well as shear pace undid the Edenbridge defence and allowed a 2 v 1 overlap on the near side and a simple run into the corner for the speedy EG flanker. EG 19 – Edenbridge 14. As the minutes ticked down the halftime, the Edenbridge backs found some rhythm and a put some strong running lines in to undo the relatively solid EG defence. Another piercing run from the midfield pairing of Herb and Albert allowed space for the forwards to move into and stretch the defence. A penalty awarded for playing the ball on the ground by EG gave Edenbridge time to plot a plan of attack. A successful one through the backs allowed a try scored just before half time, converted Edenbridge now had a 2 point lead going into half time EG 19 – Edenbridge 21.
With spirits high and a few positional changes the Edenbridge team came out fully expecting a big push from EG who wouldn’t have been happy about losing those points just before half time. Unfortunately for Edenbridge that seemed to be the case and EG through everything they had into the first 5 minutes resulting in two very quick tries both constructed from gaps left in the defensive line. EG now up by 12 points. EG 31 – Edenbridge 21.
With spirits still high Edenbridge pushed forward looking to add a quick response. With a multitude of phases the EG defence seemed to stand strong and a fumble at the bottom of the ruck gave EG a big scrum on half way. With a big push the Edenbridge pack couldn’t do anything but watch as the EG number 8 picks and passes out the oncoming EG back line who again create a 3v1 on the outside and go in under the posts. EG 36 – Edenbridge 21.
The ensuing moments were hard to watch as EG ran in four more tries in quick succession all from handling errors that the week before were absent. EG 60 – Edenbridge 21.
With 4 minutes to go Edenbridge made a few changes of position one the resulting scrum inside their own half and looked to run out from the 22. With phases going by and minutes ticking down Edenbridge finally got a break on the outside and got a well deserved consolidation try. EG 60 – Edenbridge 27. Two penalties taken well by the EG ten left a final score of EG 66 – Edenbridge 27. Full respect goes the Edenbridge squad who dug deep and refused to go down without a fight.
The game unearthed a number of key performances however Man of the Match must go to Harry Warne for his relentless tackling, line speed, running and rucking.
Next game sees Edenbridge go away to Eastbourne on November 6th.