“a six tries to two, bonus-point victory in a cup match is not to be sniffed at and there were plenty of positives - the tackling, the shape in defence and some elusive running from a back line that is looking increasingly threatening”
U14s Coach Nigel Hastings
Hastings and Bexhill U13s 20-Lewes U13s 65
This Sunday's game was an away friendly against Hastings. It was decided to play three 20 minutes sections with rolling subs. On a rare bright and dry day for Hastings 16 players trotted out for Lewes U13s whilst the home side had in excess of 30 players to choose from.
In the first 20 minutes, Lewes were dominant in the pack with several balls won against the head. Their backs kept great shape and the redistribution of ball from 9 and 10 gave them ample opportunity to show what they could do.
Coach Bob Lockyer commented that "Finn, Ali, Jack, Elliott and Tom put some great passes together to make some spectacular tries." Not to be outdone, the pack showed that when called upon close to the line they could muscle over in some style. This section of the game ended 30-0 but Lewes needed to be aware that these were not necessarily Hastings' strongest players.
A change of Hastings line-up brought a bit more muscle to the next 20 minutes plus a scrum-half and winger that caused Lewes a few problems. Lewes also made a couple of substitutions but were still the dominant side although they were having to work a bit harder for their tries. In this session Pierre found that he had a few more attacks to handle at full back and Lewes were muscled off some of the breakdowns but Hastings only crossed the whitewash once. The end of this segment saw Lewes again in ascendance with a score of 15-5 but that was testament of the closer skill sets of the players now on the pitch.
In the final 20 Lewes were beginning to show the effects of the lack of depth in their squad as constant fresh legs from Hastings were giving them much more time on the ball. Lewes also gave away a few simple penalties near their own line which they failed to defend adequately. Lockyer said "that being said, Lewes managed a few tries of our own with the outside channels being our favourite hunting ground. My late substitution of Will Wallis as inside centre rather than his usual second row slot was justified when he ran over half the length of the pitch shrugging off tackles to provide a great offload to Tom D to score."
This section and final whistle of the match ended 20-15 to Hastings which was a fair reflection off the run of play and Lewes' tired legs but proved that Lewes needs to keep their fitness up so that they can play in the final quarter just as hard as they do in the first.
Lewes U14s 32 Pulborough U14s 13
The Under 14s opened their Sussex RFU Waterfall campaign with a convincing but scruffy win over Pulborough.
The opening exchanges were very promising. Strong tackling from Lewes took the wind out of Pulborough’s sails and, despite having most of the possession, the visitors found themselves going backwards. Marauding flanker Geordie Gwynn capitalised on some impressive Lewes line speed with a neatly timed interception and opened the scoring with a try under the posts, duly converted by Myles Govus.
Two tries in quick succession from Jack Soltermann and Man of the Match Brad Andersen soon followed. But after a strong start the game then turned into a frustratingly scrappy affair. Lewes gave away too many silly penalties, dropped too many passes and were turned over in the ruck far too often. Jack Soltermann finished a flowing Lewes backs move with a try in the corner towards the end of the first half to keep Lewes on top. But Pulborough had the best of the breakdown and always looked dangerous with the ball in hand. Fortunately they were kept at bay by committed Lewes tackling particularly by Finley Toghill, Henry Anstee-Moore and John Weir, who also carried well all day.
In the second half Jude Littlewood, who had been running hard all match, put the result beyond doubt with two tries, one of which was created by a huge hit from Blake Irlam. But the silly errors and an uncharacteristic absence of physicality in the ruck persisted.
Coach Nigel Hastings concluded that "a six tries to two, bonus-point victory in a cup match is not to be sniffed at and there were plenty of positives - the tackling, the shape in defence and some elusive running from a back line that is looking increasingly threatening. But after the final whistle the whole squad admitted that they were disappointed in themselves as they know they can play much better."
Tries: Geordie Gwynn, Bradleigh Andersen, Jack Soltermann (2), Jude Littlewood (2).
Conversions: Myles Govus
Updated 08:52 - 10 Dec 2017 by Peter Barron