Match Report
Sir Thomas Rich's School Boys-U14A vs  The Crypt School
On: Saturday, 01 Dec 2018
Venue: at Home

The local derby was here, Crypt the visitors. There were a few changes to the Tommies side, noticeable at Half Back. Pallister was now at 9 with Elliott moving to 10. Crypt got the game underway and Pallister started brightly in his new role. Barking at his forwards, the Tommies packed carried well off him. Using this to his advantage, Pallister looked to snipe down the blindside and made a clever half break. He then delivered a classy offload to talented Winger Beech who looked to burst around the Crpyt defence. Beech gained vital yards breaking down the narrow blindside and gained Tommies good field position. The Tommies pack were on top early doors, good work at the breakdown from Mackleworth, Green and Dalgleish ensured the backs had genuine quick ball. Pallister fizzed the ball out to Elliott who had options outside. Jordan ran some sharp lines and wingers Beech and Folayan were often lurking in behind. An excellent start by Tommies.

This lively start saw Tommies just outside the Crypt 22. The backline were hungry for the ball and with their newfound depth were able to move the ball wide. Elliott’s distribution was slick and he set the backline alight. Pass master Griffin found himself in space with Pattison on the outside. Griffin delivered good ball to Pattison who put in a clever kick that trickled into touch on the Crypt 5 metre line. The pressure was on. Crypt did well to secure possession from the resulting line out but Tommies were intense in defence and pilled the pressure on. Physical defensive work around the fringes of the breakdown by Gibson, Bye, Nixon and Evans saw Crypt forced back over their try line. A 5 metre scrum to Tommies the result. Unfortunately, for Tommies it was Crypts turn to pile on the pressure. Strong defensive work from the Crypt Scrum Half forced Pallister into knocking on.

Tommies remained calm and positive and were determined to keep Crypt in their 22 despite losing possession. More good work in defence from the Tommies front 5 meant flankers Gibson and Green were able to disrupt the Crypt breakdown and secure a turnover. Bye, Nixon and Mackleworth gained Tommies hard yards up the middle before quick ball was on. Pallister swiftly moved the ball to Elliott who looked to feed Folayan in behind the hard running Griffin and Jordan. Gibson had other ideas and took the ball from Elliott on a tidy outside line. He burst round a few Crypt defenders and barrelled his way over for the opening score of the game. The extras were missed but Tommies had a crucial first score in the derby.

Crypt responded well to going behind and were more physical in defence putting in some big hits. However, Tommies had a slight edge at the breakdown and used this to their advantage. The forwards punched up the middle sucking the Crypt defence in. This created space out wide for the backline who were starting to click. Moving the ball superbly in the centres Tommies were able to unleash the dangerous back three of Folayan, Pattison and Beech.

Just inside the Crypt half, the Tommies backline sensed an overlap. The boys took full advantage. With runners coming back against the grain the ball was pulled in behind the line and eventually into the hands of Captain Pattison. With one defender to beat Pattison floated a fantastic pass out to Beech who flew onto the ball and shot down to the left touchline for what looked a certain try. Crypt had other ideas and an exceptional cover tackle was made. Credit to Crypt they regrouped well and won themselves a penalty. They cleared their lines and the game was back being contested on the half way line.

With 5 minutes left of the first half both teams were locked in a tussle just inside the Tommies half. What followed was a piece of individual brilliance. Gibson spotted space on the blindside and looked to break on his own. Unfortunately, he isolated himself and Crypt stole the ball. Gibson, disappointed to have lost the ball in the first place, was like a man possessed. He bolted to his feet and went hunting for that ball back. 30 seconds later Gibson hit a hard carrying crypt attacker and in the process striped the ball. Straight onto the front foot Gibson burst through a couple tackles before cleverly overloading around another defender. This put Beech into oceans of space. The speedy winger would not be denied again and flew in for the second Tommies try of the game. Bye added the extras and Tommies went into half time 12-0 up.

Both teams started the second half well. Scholes, on at half time, was quick to make an impact tackling anyone that ran down his channel. More good work at the breakdown by numerous members of the pack secured Tommies penalties and Elliott kicked his team deep inside the Crypt half. After handling errors from both sides Tommies had a scrum on the Crypt 22. Nixon broke to the blindside and supplied Pallister with tidy ball. Pallister fixed his man and put Folayan in down the right hand touchline. Some excellent tackles by the covering Crypt defence put Folayan into touch. A Crypt line out 5 metres from their try line the result. From this lineout Crypt looked to exit but Loftus was alert and looking to pounce. As the ball came out and into the hands of the Crypt Scrum Half, Loftus made his move. Flooding through Loftus was able to charge the kick down and then dive on the ball over the try line. There was a large element of luck to this third score but Loftus made the most of it. Bye added the extras and Tommies led 19-0.

Conceding a third try sparked Crypt into life and they responded extremely well. Winning a few penalties at the breakdown, they worked their way up to the Tommies 22. Sustained pressure forced Tommies into some fantastic last-ditch tackles. Mackleworth, Evans and Dalgleish were all heavily involved. Tommies did well to repel strong Crypt attacks and hold the ball up over the try line. This meant a 5-metre scrum to Crypt. Moving the ball into the Midfield Crypt found a hard runner. Griffin went low and chopped his man but unfortunately the Crypt attacker wasn’t held. He scrambled to his feet and bundled his way over the line for a well-deserved score. The extras were added and Tommies led 19-7 with 10 minutes left on the clock.

Just as Crypt had, Tommies responded well to conceding. More superb tactical kicking from Elliott and excellent carries from Loftus and Gibson ensured Tommies played the last 10 in the Crypt half. Having moved the ball fantastically all game the Tommies backline were starting to spot holes in the Crypt defence. Mr versatile Jordan sensed a chance to add to his 4 tries thus far this season. Taking the ball on a wide line going right, Jordan stepped powerfully back right and effortlessly sliced through the Crypt defence. With one man to beat Jordan turned on the after burners and flew in for a fine individual score. Bye added a smart conversion to send Tommies 26-7 up.

Having been done on the outside a few times in the first half the Crypt defence were keen to increase their line speed and stop the Tommies backline moving it wide. Tommies 10 Elliott spotted this and started to stamp his authority on the game putting in an array of clever tactical kicks. Having kicked Tommies into the Crypt half, Elliott spotted a pocket of space in behind the Crypt line. Beauden was on! Like a good Postman Elliott delivered. As the Crypt defence shot up Elliott clipped a wonderfully weighted kick just over the line. The oncoming Folayan swooped in and executed a fine one-handed pick up. A classy play from Tommies and one that put them firmly on the front foot.

To round off an excellent team performance Jordan stuck again, a carbon copy of his first try. Once against demonstrating a lethal turn of foot. Not bad for someone with 7 caps at hooker this season! Bye added the extras to finish with 4/5 kicks, a fine effort. All that practice at kicking club is paying off! The full time whistle went and Tommies had won the derby 33-7.

I would like to applaud the boys for their relentless effort in training and commitment to adapting our style of play. The performance reflected this! Well done Lads.

Man of the Match was Gibson. Big Tackles, strong carries, exceptional offloads, Gibson was everywhere. A fantastic all round performance. Well done Gibson.

I would also like to mention Half Backs Pallister and Elliott who both slotted into new roles without question. They reeked the rewards with quality performances. Well done boys.

Yet again thank you to all the parents who came to support, it is greatly appreciated.