“Overall it was a good result and a very good team performance by all, and certainly good to get two wins in a row at the start of the season”
U16s Head Coach Paddy Henshaw
On a gloriously warm and sunny Sunday morning Lewes U15s were welcomed equally warmly their Crowborough hosts. Over the years the U15s have forged strong links with Crowborough having enjoyed numerous joint training session/friendlies over the years with both coaching teams getting to know each other’s squads.
Unfortunately this time Crowborough numbers were severely depleted having picked up three injuries in their first game of the season last week and a further injury to one of their players during the week. Therefore with only 15 regular players and one very recent newcomer to their squad they knew it would be a tough game. In a testament to the character they would later show in the game they still took to the field to fulfil the fixture in the full knowledge they might struggle.
See pictures of the game here>>
Lewes in contrast were almost at full strength with only one player unavailable and were keen to rectify a below-par performance last week. During the first half, Lewes played to their potential with the forwards committing to the breakdown in numbers securing quick ruck ball to release to the backs which they duly exploited with six tries. The first was by George Cade in the corner showing a renewed confidence to back himself and head for the corner flag. Ollie Simonetti was not to be outdone who then scored the next two with Nick Fletcher then wanting to get in on the act scoring the two more. Ben Goode then touched down the next and also put in a great kicking display converting all bar two resulting in a 36-0 score at the break. Given the balance of the game it was then an opportunity to empty the bench and allow plenty of game time in the second half for those that didn’t start.
Goode opened up the scoring early in the second half capitalising on the forwards having created the attacking platform from an excellent ruck on the half way line. Another couple of tries from Simonetti and Fletcher with conversions to boot meant it was quickly 50-0. It looked like it was about to become too one-sided a game but Crowborough then showed some real character and rallied to produce their finest 10/15 minutes of the game. They kept possession well, launched their strong runners in attack and only some great cover tackles, try line defending and will to keep a clean sheet kept them off the score sheet.
Late in the half however Lewes, having had the benefit more subs and not as much defending to do, finished the stronger in the last 5-10 minutes with another couple of tries. The forwards were rewarded for their work at the ruck with Reuben Greenwood touching done after Giles Baker having started the forwards driving for the line just inside the opposition 22. The last try was again Simonetti running in a Crowborough kick that didn’t make touch.
The first half saw Lewes in control for most of the game and play the style of rugby they have been practising towards with good support and quick ball.
The early part of the game unfortunately saw Alfie Rowe injured and off for the rest of the game. The first try was then scored by James Willetts but was a result of some strong running lines from Billy and good support play by Will Hemmings and a number of others. Tries followed from Jimmy Collins, Joe Davis and Charlie Rabuszko, with conversions from Oisin McWalter and Davis. Lewes went into half time in the lead 28-5.
It was certainly a game of two halves with Uckfield coming back strongly with three tries in the second period and no response from Lewes, but thankfully the first half performance was enough.
Lewes Head Coach Paddy Henshaw said "Overall it was a good result and a very good team performance by all, and certainly good to get two wins in a row at the start of the season. There’s still plenty to work on though, and with Bognor up next in two weeks’ time we need to make sure we maintain the same composure and control in both halves of the game."
Tries: James Willetts, Jimmy Collins, Joe Davis, Charlie Rabuszko
Updated 19:39 - 1 Oct 2017 by Peter Barron
Conversions: Oisin McWalter (3), Joe Davis (1)