Tring U15 B v Hitchin B
By Carl woodmansee
Tring U15 B v Hitchin B bad tempered encounter
Hitchin match report:
Architectural historian Nikolaus Pevsner described Hitchin as “the most satisfying town in the county – after St Albans”. It is safe to record that I do not share Pevsner’s opinion of Hitchin. 2 years before, Tring hosted Hitchin which ended in a “Refer-Regan” having to break up some bad tempered intimacy. During the referee’s remonstration with the Hitchin miscreant ran round behind the ref to continue meeting out his discontent with the Tring player.
During the warm up there was evidence of cold, wet hands and possibly still some sleepy heads. We could have done with a longer warm up but the kick off time was fast approaching.
The starting line up was:
The opening fifteen minutes saw Tring dominating a strong Hitchin side. Patterns were played with more confidence than was shown against Ruislip the previous week. Ball was quickly worked away from the breakdown on Tring’s left wing towards the right wing and the waiting Bermingham, Montero and O’Reilly. Territory was gained from well timed kicking out from the Tring 22yd moving the gain line right up at Hitchin.
Hitchin’s strength was evident in their attempts to break the Tring defence. They couldn’t get through us so they tried kicking over us. Williams responded with incredible speed to chase after the ball falling on it to secure possession.
Hitchin scored their first try from an opportunist interception just right of Tring’s centre field just inside the Tring half, ball in mid-air travelling out wide. Once through the Tring attacking line Hitchin ran through to score under the posts.
Tring came back showing greater strength in contact and rucks. Forwards were working hard gaining ground and retaining ball possession. Improved technique hooking ball back to the 9. This enabled working their set patterns moving the ball out wide. An episode of Bermingham, Montero and O’Reilly out on the right wing gain deep into Hitchin and break their defence allowing O’Reilly to run in Tring’s first try 5yds in from touch.
Hitchin were rattled and retaliated with strength and speed, breaking the Tring defence to run up their left wing. Tring were forced to retreat after the assailant with Williams, Barker, Rogers, Taylor homing in on the ball carrier. From my position on the right wing it was evident that Hitchin were in the goal area and only needed to ground the ball. Williams in the meantime had bound onto the ball carrier who was forcibly realigned back towards the Tring 5yd. That was core strength demonstrated at its finest.
Sadly a knock on, a scrum against Tring and a resurgent Hitchin mauled over to score their second try.
The Tring defence continued to be tested by the Hitchin attack. A couple of missed tackles allowed a Hitchin break through. As hearts momentarily stopped and breaths were held; was this to be a third try against? From the centre running a diagonal line raced Bermingham. The contact, when it came, must have hurt; the speed, the angle, taking into touch. Try saved.
Next was Boon’s turn to dominate the left wing. One was beginning to feel some sympathy for Hitchin as Boon exacted text book tackling.
At half time the score was Hitchin 12-5 Tring.
The second half started with a refreshed Hitchin. Tring had brought on Spencer at 15, and Burgess, Bezani and Djadidian in the forwards.
Great to welcome Spencer back from injury and see him returning to fitness. The new forwards brought a new energy to the match. Djadidian’s first episode on the pitch involved him grabbing an opponent’s leg and dragged them to ground. Always good to establish those boundaries.
From a serious of pick and goes, Williams scored right of the posts.
Hitchin responded with a concerted attack on Tring’s defence to score. They followed this with some jolly unsporting remarks.
Meanwhile, Bezani and Burgess were working hard with Milton mauling forwards against Hitchin. It was during one of these phases of physicality that Burgess sustained an injury to his neck. Game suspended. Fortunately paramedic help was on hand and Burgess was safely treated and recovered back to the changing room. After a visit to the hospital to be checked over, thankfully Burgess was discharged for a short spell of recuperation.
The game had been transferred to an adjacent pitch. I missed the next bit, me and Burgess was just chilling out like…
At the restart Tring kicked the ball into Hitchin territory, gained possession in the ruck. A “Dog” call (pick and go) allowed Williams to run in a try in the right corner.
Hitchin responded from their scrum, Tring missed a tackle allowing Hitchin to run in a try on their left wing.
The final try came from Hitchin who kicked the ball through and fly hacked over to score.
Tring showed that they could work as a team and develop together. The set pieces gained territory and strength and speed were evident. There were areas to work on: 2 knock ons from line outs and missed tackles allowing the opposition through the defensive line. There was improvement against a strong opposition, body positions were greatly improved with tangible results.
As Gunny continues to remind us, continue to believe in the calls, they will deliver results; continue to get the basics right in terms of body position and making every tackle.
Hitchin town has suffered the ravages of town planning, whereas the rugby club, well they are not alike a gentleman taking a walk in a park.
Final score Hitchin 27 – 15 Tring.