Seaford 5 vs 22 Burgess Hill
Sussex All Blacks match report
Last Saturday the Sussex All Blacks travelled to Seaford in the quarter final of the Sussex Shield.
Having played Seaford in the league the week before where the All Blacks went down to a conversion losing 15-17 they knew what they were going to face.
The All Blacks brought an extended squad with debuts for scrum half Chris Turrok-Hallam and flanker Sam Boughen. They also welcomed back John Rainima, Russ Sailiosi and Christian Jones.
The conditions at Seaford were typical with sideways rain, gales and freezing temperatures.
The All Blacks dominated the early exchanges using their pack to carry well before releasing the back line. Following a penalty 5 metres from the Seaford try line, back rower Russ Sailiosi tapped and crashed over 2 defenders. The conversion sailed wide in the gale like conditions. This try was followed up moments later with another following a flowing move that saw outside centre Mike Jennings tear down the wing before passing to winger Joe Brown who cut in and crashed over for the unconverted score.
Seaford battled back for the last 15 minutes of the half clawing their way up the pitch as it was impossible to pass wider than 1 metre. Despite their time with the ball the All Blacks kept resolute in defence shutting out any opportunity on offer.
The All Blacks started the second half knowing they would need to do a lot of grunt work in the conditions and they started off well using their forwards to carry a little wider before the pick and go game started to work. A penalty for holding on saw Seaford kick to touch and at the lineout they took a short one (some would argue illegally short) that saw the hooker race up field before being dragged down. At the ruck their second row picked up and drove over for the unconverted score 5-10.
The All Blacks dominated the last 20 minutes of the game playing all the rugby in the Seaford half. They added to their tally with a great break by full back George Yeates who ran in near the posts for the converted score 5-17.
This score was followed up by a series of forward carries and offloads that saw second row Adam Rez take a gap before showing a side step the backs would be proud of beating the Seaford full back and scoring near the posts. The kick to end the game was blown off course by the gale and was last seen in Sweden to give a final score of 5-22.
The All Blacks now face East Grinstead away in the semi-final on the 24th March.
The All Blacks Ridgeview Wine Estate man of the match winning a bottle of sparkling English fizz went to Turrok-Hallam who on debut looked to be a real find.
Nest week the All Blacks play their first game of the promotion mini league away to league leaders Hellingly. The All Blacks will be looking to improve on their recent game down their where Hellingly showed why they are unbeaten this season.