Pinner U13s 52-0 victory results in becoming League Champions
Sunday 3rd February saw a top of the table clash between League leaders Pinner RFC and second place Hackney Bulls; neither team having lost a game so far this season, the pressure was on as the winner of this game would probably go on to win the Herts/Middx Div6 League.
Pinner started the build-up for this top of the table clash on Thursday night, players turning out in force for floodlight training; practice drills, rucking and going through set plays, apart from getting covered head to foot in mud, coach Keith Stone commented that it was probably the best training session they had had all season, full of commitment and desire.
As part of the preparation for Sunday, Head coach Steve George organised a ‘team bonding’ session on the Friday night – Pizza and Videos for the players, a further chance to get to know each other not just as players but as mates; feedback from the lads was a resounding success, the only down of the evening was the injury sustained to Brandon Cotter during some boisterous ‘play’ which left him on the side line for the match, but showing the team spirit cheered on with great enthusiasm throughout the game; terrific support Brandon.
The pre-match warm up had a nervous buzz about it, both teams going through set plays, checking positions and eyeing each other up over the length of the pitch. Parents, cupping hot drinks, were also feeling the tension and I’m sure a couple of dogs had a pensive look around before being guided away from the edge of the pitch!
With the two captains meeting the middle, a quick shake of the hands, the coin tossed and Hackney had the kick off.
From the start, both Pinner and Hackney appeared anxious, some missed tackles, passes not going to hand and no ground being made by either team. The second scrum resulted in an injury to the Pinner hooker who had to be carried off, a replacement in the form of Jacob Talbot, was on hand and eager to come on. The game continued to be a little static, both teams making great tackles, cancelling out each other’s forward play whilst trying hard to get the ball to the backs. Then came the break through, the ball was ‘turned over’ by the quick thinking forwards at a ruck and with safe hands the ball was carried over the line by Joseph Burling with three desperate Hackney players trying to stop him unsuccessfully. Unfortunately the conversion was not made at such a tight angle.
The atmosphere had now changed, the Pinner boys had the slight upper hand and a real spring in their step, and could this be the start of something? From the restart the forwards controlled the play, they were first at every breakdown, they didn’t let Hackney settle and forced them to make error after error. This was to be the pattern of the remainder of the half; until Pinner forced a scrum a few metres from the Hackney try line. Scrum half, Sam Marchant plucked the ball out from the back of the scrum and passed to Charlie Gascoine running at pace, coming up against three opposition players he was able to turn and lay off the ball to Marc Souster, who in turn was stopped by Hackney, a ruck formed, Pinner on the verge of another try, again scrum half Sam pulled the ball from the base of the ruck feet away from the line, Ryan Healy tried to place the ball down but Hackney were not going to let that happen, after some terrific defensive tackling the opponents managed to squeeze the ball out and after a crucial pass allowed Hackney to gain some ground ending in the ball going out for a line out in Pinners favour. Pinner took the ball from the line out and passed it along the line with Ben Stone forcing the defence to track back and again defend on their try line. Pinner forwards quickly seized upon the opportunity to drive over and regain possession, again, Sam dug the ball out from the flying boots to ‘pop pass’ to the hooker who ‘bullet’ passed to full back Kai Gordon who handed off two tacklers to run in Pinners second try of the game to massive cheers and shouts from the increasing number of spectators. The first half finished 10-0 in Pinners favour.
Pinner were now ready to add to the score; knowing that if they scored five or more tries and not concede any, the chance of ending the day as league champions was possible.
The second half was for both players, spectators, coaches and those afore mentioned dogs a little bit of a blur and a ‘rugby fest’.
From the restart Pinner appeared to be quicker to the ball, the passing inch perfect and landed every tackle with great force.
The report from the second half is not, unfortunately as detailed as the first half, no notes were taken or received, some photographs taken, but in the main what was witnessed was a truly magical team performance by the Pinner Under 13s. Freddy Hart found his kicking boots and converted six over the posts. Tries came in from all angles, areas of the pitch, from deep within the Pinner half, long ball passes, short pop passing, quick forwards to every break down, backs making the surging runs. The scrum powered and dominated the opposition, the interplay between the centres allowed free running and in due course the third try was run in by Ryan Healy; the result of which had the Hackney players staring defeat and their body language did not say anything different. With coach Steve George ‘barking’ from the side line to keep focused and to add to the score the players knew what they had to do. From that moment on, Pinner played the best rugby they have played all season, the continued to dominate all aspects of open play and score tries whenever they advanced in to the Hackney half. Tries from George Tillett, Owen Rees, a second for Ryan Healy and Kai Gordon respectively took the tally even higher.
The try of the match has to, undoubtedly, go to Ben Stone, owing to the great vision from Freddy Hart. Pinner got a penalty five metre from the Hackney try line, with all of the forwards defending in front of him he made the quick decision to look up and kicked the ball along the width of the pitch where Ben caught the perfectly flighted ball and touched it down for another magnificent try. The Hackney players, like all of the spectators, looked on in amazement.
Pinner RFC Club Secretary, Robin Greenwood, watching from pitch side was heard to say that “that was as good as any international try that you would ever see”.
Pinner continued to apply more pressure, Hackney at this time totally despondent, clearly couldn’t wait for the final whistle to blow.
With the referee finally blowing the whistle, Pinner were winners 52-0
The result of this win means that with a bonus point Pinner finish top of the division with no other team able to get close to their points tally. Hackney Bulls, until this match, had not conceded any points, they left Shaftesbury Playing fields suffering their first loss in the league but in the knowledge that on this particular day met opposition who produced their performance of the season to date.
Next Sunday Pinner travel to Finchley looking to end their league matches 100% winners.
Dylan Kelly, Sam Marchant, Ryan Healy, Owen Rees, Findlay Schofield, Marc Souster, Ben Stone, Jacob Talbot, William Tighe, George Tillett, Thomas Barkshire, Dominic Boyden, Joseph Burling, Arthur Garvey, Charlie Gascoine, Louis George, Taylor Goodman, Kai Gordon, Freddy Hart.
Below are match reports and views of some of the Pinner U13s team, more will be added when they are received.
The leagues deciding game with league leaders Pinner and chasing team Hackney Bulls, with 1 point between them, who ever won would determine the league champions, it was all down to this match.
Hackney kick off to Pinner and Charlie catches the ball, runs forward and passes which is knocked on and sets up first scrum of the game. Hackney put the ball in and both teams engage and as they do so the hooker (Dylan Kelly) is pushed upwards by his strong second row and his head is pushed down by the Hackney hookers shoulder. He shouts and screams but the rest of the scrum could not hear. He panicked and ripped his head out of the scrum, in pain he falls to the ground! Coaches run to his side, aiding him he stands up and walks to the side line. As both teams clap him off he is assisted to the side line. As they ask him what is wrong he again says “its my back.” This is not the first Dylan has hurt his back and neck but the first time it was much more serious as previously he had to go to hospital.
p.s. I was lying on a tackle pad for a lot of the game so I didn’t see much!
Great play shown by all U13 at Pinner RFC today as the participated in one of the most important matches of the year. 8 Try’s and 6 conversions brilliant kicks by Freddy.
Overall at a staggering final score of 52-0 this is even better when you hear that Hackney Bulls had not conceded a try all season, a great game shown by Pinner.
I enjoyed today, winning and being top of the league and I have improved a lot this season and hope to keep on progressing
Next Sunday will be at Finchley and high expectations from Pinner RFC
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