1st team match report – Sat 30th Sept 2017
Last Saturday the Sussex All Blacks hosted Ditchling in the league. The fixture was switched from Ditchling as their new pitch awaits approval from some old farts.
The All Blacks made their customary 6 changes to their squad from the week before including two 1st team U21 debutants up from the 2nd team.
The most notable change was made during the warm up when winger and injury bench specialist, Liam Hopwood failed to manage a press up. The forwards all suspected this was not an injury and simply because he is a girly back.
The All Blacks have struggled to come out of the blocks in the last 3 games but this week after an intense warm up, they came out of the traps like a greyhound chasing a rabbit.
From the kick off the forwards carried hard before the ball was spun wide and kicked up field. The Ditchling full back collected the ball and was tackled into touch on his 22 metre line.
At the lineout the ball was taken off the back and passed down the line by scrum half Bone Matemosi. Outside centre George Yeates took the ball into traffic and set up the ruck. The ball was spun back the other way where teenage winger and hair model, Mathues Gava came close setting up a ruck 5 metres out. At the ruck Bone had 4 forward runners to choose with hooker Andy Mackay being the recipient where he crashed over. Fly half Rich Fleming converted from out wide for a 7-0 lead.
The All Blacks were now in rampant mood with the forwards carrying well with second row and youtube story telling sensation, Simon Eyre and 1st team debutant back row and 19th birthday boy Lewis Strong standing out.
The ball was spun wide following a forward bust where Gava showed great feet and strength on the wing before running in and round to score under the posts. Fleming added the extras 14-0.
The next score saw the backs and forwards combine well before the ball was passed down the line to the wing where all good hookers hang out where Mackay dived into the corner. Fleming had his radar on point and dissected the posts to extend the lead 21-0.
The next score belonged to the pack with props and Lord of the Rings extras Paul Hasib and Lee Collingbourne getting through a load of work before the back row took it on. One such break saw second rows Tim Daniel and Eyre go close before Hasib picked up and crashed under the posts. Fleming added the extras 28-0.
Despite the one sided nature of the game, Ditchling did show some glimpses of great play with their prop, no.8, fly half, outside centre and fall back all creating a lot from scraps.
The final score of the half was created by a Ditchling mistake and tenacity by flanker Lewis Strong.
The All Blacks cleared their lines up field and the Ditchling full back threw a quick lineout to his winger. Silent Assassin, Strong read this and sprinted full pelt and intercepted the pass whilst shrugging off the defender like a snotty tissue. He then sprinted towards the line and passed to replacement winger Owain Jenkins (OJ) who raced on up his wing showing good feet and strength to reach the line in the corner. Fleming narrowly missed the conversion 33-0 to end the half.
The All Blacks came out confident of a repeat performance in the second half. What actually transpired was an error strewn and frustrating second 40.
Despite this there were still some fine passages of play. During this period inside centre Dave Daly carried more than he would in an entire season.
One such Daly run for the line saw a ruck set up 5 metres from the line. No.8 and captain Dave Wattam pounced on the opportunity to increase his try tally this term and picked up and crashed over. Fleming added the extras, 40-0.
Shortly after following a break by Fleming in midfield a maul ensued that saw Eyre and Hasib land on him. A 10 minute break in play ensued as an earthquake rescue team were called in to locate Fleming who had to leave the field of play. 21 year old Callum Watson came onto the wing for his 1st team debut with OJ moving to fly half.
The next score showed the Black packs power. From a scrum 15 metres out they marched the Ditchling pack backwards towards their line and over before Wattam dotted down for his 2nd score. OJ added the extras 47-0.
The final score of the game saw some fantastic hands down the line where Mackay once more hanging out on the wing swan dived into the corner. OJ narrowly missed the extras to end the game 52-0.
Credit must go to Ditchling who battled throughout tackling like Lions. Once they get back some of their injured players they will be a real handful.
The Ridgeview wine estate Man of the Match winning a nice drop of English sparkly went to Mackay for his hat trick however he was closely followed by “Silent but deadly” Strong who looked very useful on his debut.
Next week the All Blacks host Uckfield at home 3pm KO in what is expected to be an arm wrestle of a match.
|September 30, 2017||3:00 pm||Harvey's of Sussex 1||2017-2018|
Burgess Hill V Ditchling
All photo’s are the property of Steve Blanthorn