Burgess Hill Under 14s started 2019 with 2 hard Wednesday and Sunday training sessions before heading into their Storm League Match vs Uckfield away this Sunday.
The Storm league being less formal than the Waterfall leagues gives all the squad an opportunity to play and offers a chance for players to try out different positions.
On a cold but perfect day for rugby, Hill kicked off and immediately put pressure on Uckfield forcing a kick out of the 22. The kick was fielded by winger Miller and run back to the heart of the opposition. The ball was recycled but not cleanly due to hands in the ruck – penalty Hill. Hill took the lineout and the Clegg & Watts, hooker and second row combo worked well and the ball was won. Pushing for the line Hill were tackled short. Quick recycled ball by the All Blacks and it was moved wide. Flanker Upton popped up in the mid field as an extra player and with a dummy his dad would have been proud of, went over for the first score. The conversion missed for a 0 – 5 lead for Hill.
Credit should be given to one of Hills second row squad member, Nelson, for volunteering to play a half for the opponent and he showed some great running from close to the ruck and great recycling.
However, Hill soon found a gap and fly half Larder came around on the loop to take the outside pass and score in the corner for a 0-10 lead after 15 mins.
Uckfield took the kick off and Hill winger Fox took the ball and ran it back. The Hill forwards recycled again and the ball was moved to centre A Baker. Deciding that the direct route was best, Baker took his gap and broke through. It was now a foot race to the line and Baker managed to out-strip his chaser to score under the post. Rogers stepped up for the extras and it was 0-17 after 18 minutes.
Uckfield did learn from their mistakes and did a much better kick chase from the restart. However, Hill’s structure has improved much over the weeks and ball retention was good. Hill made their way down the field and just knocked on at the crucial moment. Uckfield counter attached and then kicked for territory. Unfortunately for them, the ball landed in full back Roger’s arms and he ran straight back. Some quick foot-work and a missed tackle be Uckfield and he was through to take the try. Converting his own score Rogers brought Hill to the half time score of 0-24
Hill rang the changes and moved all their subs onto the field. Nelson came back into the fold and second row stalwart Watts volunteered to help out the opposition.
Hill received the kick off and ran hard at Uckfield. A good tackle and dropped ball turned over and it was Uckfield’s turn to run. Great tackling from back row combo of Larder, Upton and Hovell worked well and pressured the Uckfield back line into an error.
From the resultant scrum, no8 pick up by Hovell supported by Larder broke through the defence ending with a popped ball to speedster Bennett and he dots down for the score out wide. The difficult conversion missed but Hill moved to 0-29
Uckfield now raised their game and started to use their big runners to good effect. This forced several good tackles from Hill but the pressure was still building.
Hill were back on their line and tackling hard when they turned over Uckfield ball. The exit strategy is well rehearsed and Rogers put boot to ball. The kick chase proving strong with Bennett, Larder and Upton putting pressure on the receiver the turn over was inevitable. Upton had a small gap and went for it. Twisting well he broke through and made 30m before being hauled down. Hill supported well and quick ruck ball meant the defence was back peddling and quick hands down the line gave Bennett his next score, again out wide. The tricky conversion missed but the score reached 0-34.
The game started to break up a bit now and the Hill stronger runners made headway. Flanker Upton made another break with the defence in a mess, the recycled ball went to Rogers who again showed strong running to make the try line. The conversion by Larder was successful to make it 0-41.
The Hill Forward pack whilst much lighter proved to be much fitter and in many cases stronger. The scrum was now putting pressure on Uckfield and a ball squirted out the side of the scrum. Now playing blind side flanker, Larder pounced and ran almost untouched to score. The extras were missed but Hill reached 0-46.
The last 5 mins were hard for Uckfield with Hill runners attacking from all over. Strong runs by Miller and Clyde pushed the defence tiring out forward and backs. It was a Hill knock on that lead to a scrum and the Uckfield pack lost concentration and Hill drove them off for a ball against the head. Hovell picked from the base of the scrum and popped to Rogers who smashed over for the final score. The conversion by H Baker made the final score 0-53.
Hill face Horsham at home in the storm league and will again be playing all squad members who are available.
Squad were: MacAlister, Clegg, Cowle, Watts, Kyalo, Hovell, Upton, H Baker, Collingbourne, Larder, Miller, A Baker, Dale, Fox, Rogers, Edlin, Nelson, Harrison, Bennett, Clyde, Lessacher, Simonet.