“it was a gutsy performance by a physically smaller and somewhat depleted side”
U13s coach, Bob Lockyer
Lewes U13s had been warned that they played physical 'channel one' rugby and had a couple of large forwards, including one of their guys who even made Lewes' coach, Bob Lockyer, look small. The weather conditions overnight had made the ground very wet and boggy which didn't lend itself to the expansive running game Lewes normally like to play.
However Crawley set out their stand very early on with a very physical performance at the rucks which saw them score a try after just three minutes, the Lewes players failing to tackle low on a big player running hard and straight. However despite the disparity in size the scrums weren't all going one way and it was another 15 minutes before Crawley scored again. The rest of the half was an arm wrestle in the mud with neither side gaining any particular dominance. So 0-10 to the visitors at half time was a fair reflection of the performance and effort by both sides.
The second half started like the first with a physical forwards' drive by Crawley gaining them an early try, however they were under a warning from the Ref for no hands clear outs. A repeat offence at the ruck saw a Crawley player red carded and a Lewes player go off to the hospital seeing double.
Crawley scored another try on the eighth minute of the second half, although Lewes, not to be outdone, showed they still had fight left in them and a kick into space by Fly-Half Charlie saw Lars following up to fall on the ball whilst the Crawley full-back was contemplating what to do.
Unfortunately this was the only Lewes try of the game and a succession of Crawley tries quickly followed, in some part assisted by a catalogue of Lewes injuries. Substitutions were made as a result of four injuries. A Lewes squad that had started the game with several players out of position due to half-term distractions ended with the only 13 players left standing, taking whatever position they could. That being said their heads did not drop and for the last 10 minutes they were camped out in the Crawley half until the final whistle blew.
Coach Bob Lockeyr summed up thus: "The final score 5-35 flattered the visitors as the possession stats would have put the teams closer. The difference between the two sides were that Crawley finished their ball and Lewes didn't seem able to make that final pass that might have produced a try. However it was a gutsy performance by a physically smaller and somewhat depleted side."
Updated 09:57 - 12 Mar 2018 by Peter Barron