Eastbourne RFC u14's
u14's match reports 2008.9


Eastbourne u14’s    (22) vs East Grinstead (5)   FRIENDLY (28/09/2008).
What a difference a year makes. Preparation for the game began in mid June and players old and new worked to improve their fitness and skills throughout the summer. Sunday produced the pay back that was the just reward for all the hard work that had been put in.
Facing an East Grinstead side that they have never beaten, Eastbourne took the fight to them straight from the whistle. In the opening encounters the Eastbourne forwards dominated and produced clean ball for the backs, allowing open side flanker Tom Pashley to open the scoring. East Grinstead kicked off and a clean catch from full back Louis Hall released the backs again, this time allowing fly half Alexander Voss Hillier to cross the line and convert his own try. Eastbourne maintained the pressure with backs and forwards working together and a few minutes later were again rewarded.  A flowing backs move, with full-back Lawrence (Boris) Harte joining the line, produced a deft inside pass allowing Voss Hiller to score again resulting in a half time 17 – nil lead.
East Grinstead who had been clearly shaken were much more determined in the second half and as a result much of the half remained scoreless, with both sides producing a fine display for the spectators. Eastbourne were awarded a penalty on the 5 metre line, when a Grinstead player came in from the side off a ruck and flanker Harvey Padget took a quick tap penalty to crash his way over the try-line. In the closing minutes of the game Grinstead were awarded for all their hard work, when from a scrum they spun the ball out and breached the Eastbourne defence, to score their only try of the day. The game finished with Eastbourne 22 -5 winners and with a great deal of belief in what can be achieved this season.


Edenbridge    (5) vs Eastbourne  (5)   LEAGUE (05/10/2008).
With Noah building his ark on the adjacent pitch Eastbourne u14’s opened their league season with an away game against Edenbridge RFC. Eastbourne won the toss and chose to play with the wind and rain at their backs. The decision proved decisive and allowed Eastbourne to dominate both territory and possession for much of the first half. Edenbridge started well and managed to get into the Eastbourne twenty-two, but strong defence allowed Eastbourne to clear their line, the resulting long kick turning the tables. Eastbourne then entered a period of sustained pressure with wave after wave of attack and were eventually awarded a scrummage on the opposition five metre line. Fluid passing from replacement scrum half Peter Osborn released the backs and inside centre Chris Maskill breached the Edenbridge defences to give Eastbourne a 5 – nil half time lead.
Facing the elements in the second half was going to test the mettle of the Eastbourne side, but this is a team, that this year, are not going down without a fight. Eastbourne made several incursions into Edenbridge’s half, but in the wet conditions lost the ball, it was then hammered down field assisted by the wind. Edenbridge raised their game and for over ten minutes Eastbourne resisted every attempt to cross their lines. Eventually the pressure told and the Edenbridge flanker scored out wide to level the scores.

With the weather improving Eastbourne struck back with the forwards and backs linking, allowing flanker Tom Pashley to break the Edenbridge defence. It looked as though he was going to score, but was stopped a metre short of the Edenbridge line. The game ended on a cliff hanger when Edenbridge were awarded a penalty just outside the Eastbourne twenty two, the kick striking the upright and falling back harmlessly. Eastbourne left with a well deserved away draw for which the whole squad should be proud.


Heathfield u14’s (61) vs Eastbourne u14’s   (5)   Friendly (12/10/2008).
Eastbourne travelled to Heathfield RFC to face a strong A league outfit that boasted a number of county and academy players. Eastbourne playing downhill on the Waldron pitch produced a dream start from the kick off, managing to catch and recycle the ball, to take an early lead through an unconverted Alexander Voss Hillier try. This early try soon awoke a Heathfield team who had obviously been caught napping. Heathfield returned the score with interest and produced a fine display of running rugby, passing out of the tackle to support players who always seemed to be on hand. Eastbourne when they maintained pressure did force mistakes from the opposition, but on too many occasions this was not sufficient, and this resulted in the inevitable try. Eastbourne finished the half trailing 32 -5.

With Heathfield now playing down hill it would have been all too easy to lose the game to a much larger score. But the Eastbourne forwards raised their game, doubling up in the tackle to stop quick release of the ball. The backs produced some fine individual tackling, to keep the Heathfield  score down. Eastbourne’s day was made particularly difficult by the Heathfield inside centre, who added several tries in the second half to produce a 61 -5 win for his side. Eastbourne finished the game strongly competing at every breakdown and even making some significant attacks into the Heathfield half. If this had been maintained earlier in the game the score could have been much closer. A great deal was learnt from this game, that can now be taken to the training field and put in place in order to allow the team to perform at a higher level.


Eastbourne RFC u14’s 24 vs Hastings RFC 7 (14/12/2008) League.
Eastbourne u14’s produced their first league win of the season beating Hastings RFC 24 – 7. Eastbourne crossed the Hastings try-line twice in early encounters only to be denied  by the referee on both occasions. However, it was only a matter of time before points would appear on the score sheet.  The opening score came from a penalty, a quick tap penalty, the ball quickly passed out to the backs, who used a well practised move to allow Tom Pashley to burst through in the centre, Alexander Voss Hillier adding the conversion. Another try was soon added, when from inside the twenty two Joshua Rafferty McWall took the ball on, from the ensuing ruck the ball was delivered cleanly by scrum half Tom Minshall to Pashley whose angle of running allowed him to cross the line out wide.
Eastbourne maintained the pressure and possession with hooker Peter Newman consistently taking ball against the head, in opposition scrums and denying Hastings any possibility of scoring. Eastbourne’s third try came from the quick thinking of Prop Austin Hogben who took a quick lineout. The ball was cleanly passed to Harvey Padget and Dominic O’Malley who released fly half Voss Hillier, his pace outstripped the Hastings defence to give Eastbourne a 19 – nil half time lead when he converted his own try.
In the second half Eastbourne should have pressed their advantage home to produce a large points’ win, but the match got as bogged down as the underlying pitch conditions. When ball should have been distributed, players were stopped as they kept possession too long. Late in the game, scrum half Louis Hall delivered a well- weighted pass to centre Chris Maskill, breaking two tackles he charged over the try-line, Van Bentham failing to convert. Hastings were rewarded with a converted try of their own to bring the match to a close. MOM – Peter Newman a fine display in taking ball against the head in a scrum.
Eastbourne RFC u14’s Sunday 4th January 2009
Eastbourne u14’s began their 2009 preparations with a visit to Wasps RFC, attending a Matchday Coachclass organised by the London Wasps Community Coaching Team. During the morning players spent two hours participating in a coaching session designed to improve a range of core rugby skills and game understanding. The players were fortunate to have the opportunity to talk to England legend Lawrence Dallaglio who was coaching another group. After a friendly exchange of questions and answers, he was treated to the team’s song. Following photographs with Jo Worsley and the Wasps mascot, some of the players formed the tunnel for the Wasps and Harlequins players as they took to the pitch. To close the day they were treated to an entertaining Premiership match which left the Wasps supporters happy and the Harlequin supporter less happy. It is hoped that the players will use the skills and knowledge in matches during the rest of the season.
Rye (5) vs Eastbourne  (50)   LEAGUE (08/03/2009).
Eastbourne travelled to Rye RFC with the team’s final league position hanging in the balance. Like last week when they convincingly beat Worthing 28 -5 playing the best rugby that had been seen this year, this was a must-win game. Playing with the wind from the kick off,  the Eastbourne forwards pressurised the receiver causing a knock on and from the resulting scrum a No 8 pick up and quick recycling of the ball at the ruck, enabled scrum half Peter Osborn to cross the line. Alexander Voss Hiller converting. Eastbourne continued to pressure Rye with the flankers and backs tackling the opposition behind their gain line. It was not long before from a scrum a backs move allowed Alex Prior to score his first try. Rye struck back when the Rye No 8 broke out evading the Eastbourne defence to score out wide. But further tries from Voss Hillier gave Eastbourne a 28 -5 lead.
Playing against the elements Rye were determined to turn the tables, but Eastbourne were not going to let this game slip away and took the game straight to the opposition. Second row Ricky Van Bentham made a charging run from 15 yards out to add to the Eastbourne score. Chris Maskill playing at outside- centre scored a second try to give Eastbourne a 40 -5 lead. Rye continued to play with spirit and determination and on several occasions came close to the Eastbourne try-line. But during the second half they would not cross it again. Eastbourne rounded of a fine team performance, with players passing the ball rather than going for the line themselves to add a further two tries and produce an outstanding 50 – 5 win. If the other results have gone their way Eastbourne u14’s should be rewarded with second position in the Sussex B East league. MOM: Austin Hogben – dynamic play throughout whole game.
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