U13s recover from slow start to record an impressive win
Strong second half performance with good line speed wins the day
We welcomed Pulborough to a cold, wet and foggy pitch. There was a good buzz from the boys ahead of the game and the coaching team were keen to highlight the importance of getting off to a good start and playing to our strengths of quick running rugby and aggressive defensive line speed.
Pulborough had come up from the lower group with a very impressive try scoring record and they showed their intentions in the first minute of the game with a strong run from their outside centre from open play resulting in the first try of the game. A multitude of missed tackles from Heathfield causing anxiety on the touch line!!
However, the boys did not let their heads drop and almost immediately struck back with a good team try. The ball was worked through various phases and passed through the hands allowing us over in the corner.
This sequence of events pretty much set the tone for the rest of the first half. Pulborough continued to find space for their big runners to exploit with Heathfield finding it difficult to tackle them once they were in full stride. Heathfields phase play and teamwork created opportunities for 3 very well worked tries. The first half finishing evenly balanced at 4 tries apiece.
The half-time team talk focused on continuing to move the ball wide and also improving our defence with particular emphasis on line speed and not giving their big runners the space they had enjoyed in the first half.
Heathfield started the second half with real purpose. Defensive line speed was excellent and the Heathfield scrum started to exert real pressure at set piece. This gave the platform for more sniping runs from the base of the scrum from Harry Slinnhawkins (man of the match) which consistently put Heathfield on the front foot.
Heathfield's improved line speed resulted in real pressure being put on Pulborough's back line and they found it hard to get out of their half and made many handling errors. Heathfield made good use of their territorial advantage with some well worked tries through direct running, good support and moving quick ball through the hands
Both sets of teams started to tire from their committed play and the introduction of Heathfields bench helped to keep the momentum firmly in their favour, the second half finishing 4 tries to zero.
The scores for Heathfield came from real team work and good close support play. We had 5 different scorers but to the delight of the coaches, the tries came from unselfish and committed team work. The other very satisfying take away from the game yesterday is that the boys did not let their spirits drop despite a slow start and strong opposition.
In summary a really great game of rugby played in a good spirit with Heathfield deservedly finishing on top.
Well done boys