Over the last few training sessions we’ve taken the players back to basics and focussed on passing, tackling, taking the ball into contact and jackalling. Beckenham visited us on Sunday and it was a chance to apply what we have learnt. We lost the same fixture last season 20-60.
Ensuring that all 23 players from across the squad played at least a half took some coordinating but all of them contributed positively. They certainly didn’t disappoint and what we saw on the pitch showed their progress and effort over only a few recent training sessions.
In the first minute some big carrying and ball retention enabled Finn Stafford to crash over from inside centre. Ollie Tournes duly converted. Immediately from the restart Will Stone managed to secure possession and with the forwards securing quick ball at the ruck, Will Loxley was able to deliver a perfect flat pass to take advantage of the great line of Dylan Reynolds who ran in from half way. Again the conversion was cleanly dispatched by Ollie Tournes.
Going into such a quick lead seemed to galvanise the Beckenham team – they certainly have some very good players. The game now became very competitive but thanks to several great tackles and turnovers we managed to defend our line.
Now it was our turn. Sharel Hoyte, like every good hooker was in support, and after good work from the backs, he cut in nicely from the wing and drove through some tackles, before the obligatory roll and ball presentation. After a messy ruck, Will Stone cleared out the dangerman. We then upped the intensity and speed of our recycling and support. A great pick and go from Raphael Huille, with super support from Will Loxley, and a brilliant clear out by Billy Coker meant than Lucas Fonseca-Koon could pick and go over the line. Ollie Tournes duly added the conversion. 21-0!
But, all credit to the Beckenham players who refused to give in and pegged us back to 21-14. Could we regain the advantage?
In the middle of the park, Gabriel Britton-Chambers put in a big tackle that resulted in the ball being dislodged, After one phase, due to the quick ball, we moved the ball to Dylan Reynolds, who had run from the open to blindside, for him to run in again, and keep his wits to put it under the sticks. Will Loxley added the points to make it 28-14 at half-time.
In the second half Beckenham again came out fighting and managed to score two more tries to bring it back to 28-24. The only difference being that we had made all our conversions. However, with further good direct running and ball recycling, and a couple of quick tap penalties the team enabled Ollie Tournes to go over, which he then converted. With no further scores in the game the end result was 35-24 to Club.
It was great to see us turnover a lot of ball, but we also got turned over a lot in our own rucks due to the better technique, and speed to the ruck, of Beckenham, so that’s what all the squad will be working on.
We realise only a few players got mentioned above but full credit to all 23 boys as it was a true team effort Well done you really represented the Club well.