Burgess Hill Vs Horsham (Under 14s Storm League)
Burgess Hill travelled to Horsham to play the first match of the newly formed Storm league. This is a much more flexible and friendly league where the aim is purely to play rugby and ensure the whole squad gets game time.
This also meant that several players got to start in different positions which can only be good for the individual and the team.
The match started in a lively manor with both teams running and tackling well but it was Hill who found the first weakness as a missed mid field tackle let Centre Aidan Baker run 2/3rds of the pitch to score under the posts. Unfortunately, the conversion missed but it was a great start. 0-5 to Hill.
This quick score got Horsham going and they drove into the All Blacks half with some strong running and ball retention. This resulted in a scrum in the Hill 22m area and the ball was passed out and a runner hit hard into the defensive line and after a series of rucks Horsham came up with a score. The conversion was successful meant Horsham were 7-5 up.
Horsham kept this pressure up and after a great 8 pick up from a scrum, they made loads of ground and again recycled well and created the try. The extras were missed but Horsham were 12-5 up.
This spurred Hill on and some good passing under pressure gave the backs some space. Liam Rogers produced a strong hand off and showed a clean pair of heals when he broke through. He managed to reach the try line and produced a great score. He converted as well to make the score 12-12.
Horsham continued to put pressure on Hill but some strong tackling and rucking gave Hill a penalty. Patch Hovel took the ball into contact and in the ruck unfortunately got his leg trapped in what looked like a nasty injury. (Fortunately, nothing was broken and he will be up and running in no time. Assuming his mum gets fed up waiting on him that is) That meant Hill brought on Harvey Baker at 8 in the scrum.
The half time whistle went and it was time to bring on the Hill subs and swap a few positions around.
Bennet came on at full back with Rogers coming off for a rest and usual flanker Upton tried his hand at fly half.
Hill also swapped Aidan Baker to the pack and Harvey Baker to the centre to give players a different perspective.
Horsham however started brighter and put the All Blacks under pressure. The All Blacks tacklers kept at it but with some good recycled ball Horsham handled well and scored in the corner. The extras missed meant it was 17-12 to Horsham.
There then followed the best Hill action of the half. A superb “red ball” run from Forward of the Match, Lewis Cowle, blasted through the Horsham mid field to create great ball. Scrum half and Back of the Match, Freddie Collingbourne, moved the ball to the back line where Bennet came through on the ball. He then passed to the diminutive James Pearce, who’s deceptive speed and determination, enabled him to drive through the Green wall and then to off-load to Bennett who came round on the loop to score. Conversion missed but a great try to bring us to 17-17.
The next score was an Ollie “crazy legs” Bennett special. Hill were awarded a penalty in their own 22m. Horsham were asleep and Bennet was given the space to run. He blasted through the first few tackles but once he had got to the outside he was away to score. The missed conversion did not spoil the smiles as Hill lead 17-22.
However this spurred Horsham on and they chucked everything at Hill. Pressure mounted and a ruck infringement lead to an advantage. The ball was thrown wide by Horsham but the Hill tackle dislodged the ball forward. Switched on Horsham ran over to the original penalty mark and despite the best efforts of a couple of players, Hill were caught napping and the try scored for 22-22.
The match went back and forth and looked likely heading for a draw when Liam Rogers, back on for Bennett, got a ball in space and ran from his own 10m line to score for the last play of the game. Conversion missed but a very enjoyable 22-27 victory achieved.