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Sports Report - Year 8 Rugby vs Haygrove

Tonight I took the year 8 boys rugby team to Haygrove for what would be their toughest game of the season so far after being soundly beaten in the final fixture in year 7. 

A direct and to the point teamtalk revved the boys up and they started brightly putting in some big tackles and dominating the opening 10 minutes. It was however Haygrove that took the lead with a solo effort from their 22, a huge problem faced the boys if this lad were to get the ball. The boys managed to get over the line minutes later as Harrison Hambly drew in the tackle from 3 players, offloaded to Vince Marsh who relayed to the supporting O Manchip who out-sprinted the Haygrove backs to dive across the line for a deserved try to get to level terms. With lots of possession in Haygrove’s 22 the boys were unlucky not to score more. 

Huge optimism was evident in the team talk at half time and rightfully so after their best half of rugby they have played in their time here. 

The second half started sloppily as the boys struggled to switch on, Haygrove capitalised and scored another solo effort from just inside their half as he had too much pace to be caught. 10-5. 

Chilton got back into the game and played some cracking rugby, the forwards were challenged at the start of the game to do the dirty work at breakdowns to enable the backs to dominate and that they did. All worked tirelessly against a very aggressive Haygrove side. This paid off when the Ball was stolen in a ruck, Hambly again drew two players in and timed his pass to perfection to allow Higgins a short sprint to the corner to make it 10-10. 

With 10 to go it was set up for an exciting finish as Chilton pushed forward and were matching Haygrove for physicality and the tenacity of the boys was great to watch. Unfortunately Haygrove got their passing game going and incorporated more of their players to get try number 3. With 3 minutes to go they scored their 4th as gaps appeared in a tight Chilton defence. However Manchip started to find gaps in Haygrove’s defence and made some great ground at several points. A superb chip and chase from Hambly was well supported by Manchip again who powered over the line after stealing the ball back. 20-15, there was 1 minute left. 

Chilton threw everything at Haygrove who were firmly camped into their own 22 at this point. It seemed as if the game was over when a knock on occurred but a quick tap and go by Haygrove was lost and Chilton recycled the ball well and Manchip I am gold powered over the line, I could not make it out on the far side of the pitch as it was almost completely dark, all I saw was a ball disappear in the air and some wild celebrations as the final whistle went 20-20. 

I cannot tell you how proud I was of the boys, they were incredible. Huge resilience, grit and determination shown by all of them especially after being beaten so soundly last year. A superb effort. They were complimented as a group by Haygrove’s ref, for some great rugby and a top, top game. It is testament to all of the hard work they have put in and will want to finish strongly against Brymore before heading to finals. 

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