With just six weeks of the rugby season to go and having played some great mixed ability fixtures for the past couple of months, this weekend saw the Heath u12s rugby team pitched against straight ‘A’ team opposition from Tonbridge Juddians and Brighton.
Having narrowly beaten Tonbridge at their ground earlier in the season, Heath knew this would be a tough and physical encounter. The coaches and spectators alike were treated to what can only be described as Heath hitting their top form of the season.
Heath took the game to Tonbridge from the off and were quickly into their stride, taking the ball up through the middle and rucking the opposition clear with Tranter, Vander and Hardwicke making a pest of themselves at every breakdown.
This created the space out wide for our backs to use their pace and ball handling skills to devastating effect resulting in two first half tries. Tonbridge came back at
Heath hard in the second half but could not break down the Heath defence with some trademark tackling from Bravo, Palmer and Mann that our ‘own’ Eddie Jones would have been proud of. Heath kept the pressure on and came away with a hard fought win, scoring 5 Tries to 1.
Next up were Brighton A - a fixture that has produced some great games in recent seasons.
Heath were the first to capitalise on a couple of missed Brighton tackles and raced into an early lead with some great inter play between the forwards and backs. In the second half Brighton kept the ball away from the contact area and took the ball on with far more determination, but the Heath defence stood strong and as the Brighton forwards tired, Heath capitalised scoring a further five tries with backs; Galbraith-Gibbons, Batham-Read and Collins using their pace to great effect. The final score was seven tries to nil. The score flattered Heath a little as the Brighton team never gave up and will certainly mount sterner tests for Heath in future matches.
On the adjacent pitch the Heath B team were having a similarly successful morning with two wins out of two against teams from Brighton and Hove.
In the pack, Rory Sumpter, Jacob Beal and the ever abrasive Flinn Herbert made great yards with some bulldozing runs and were aptly supported in the backs with Olllie Hilton and Jacob Nimmo using their pace to devastating effect.
Lead coach Dan Vander commented that whilst the mixed ability teams of the past few months have been fantastic for team moral and bringing all into the squad it is, occasionally, nice to test the boys in a full ‘A’ and ‘B’ fixture and the boys certainly did not disappoint with both sides playing some great rugby. Competition for places in both sides will be fierce over the coming weeks.
A nice headache for a coaching team to have as the season ending festivals and fixtures loom on the horizon.