Worthing College Rugby Greens made their way to the Sussex Development 10s at Hove RFC on Wednesday looking to build on the training minutes gained at Angmering the week before. The squad numbered only 4 second years and was made up of mainly freshers to both college and rugby.
A great performance in the opening fixture v Buckswood resulted in a close loss 3 tries to 2. The stand out performance in this fixture played entirely by freshers was George Pepper. Scoring a scintillating try outpacing the first line of defence while chasing the kick from Swift. He pounced on the bouncing ball and managed to round the fullback showing plenty of toe to notch the first 5 pointer of the day for the Greens. Pepper supplemented this by fielding a high ball near half way, he evaded the first defender and made progress before being halted by two defenders. Quick ball followed and it was moved down the line to Blackmore (a prop) on the wing. He then gassed the opposing winger to dot for the 5. Swift managed one conversion from the two. Unfortunately the match ended before the Greens could challenge any more but an impressive first showing.
The Weald posted the next challenge and this was possibly the shape of things to come for next weeks league fixture. The Greens struggled to deal with the sending and receiving skills of the opposition as the ball was moved from touch line to touchline, however effort and determination could not be faulted. The Greens were unable to make it across the line for points but improved throughout the match and slowed the progress of the Weald while also gathering valuable information for the following weeks league fixture (WRFC 3pm Wednesday 25th Sept).
Angmering became the next challenge on the day, they too like the Greens had been bested in the first fixture of the day and were competing in the Plate competition. With their experienced players on show Angmering made it very difficult for the Greens and this showed through in a score of 4 tries to 0 at the end of play. A marked improvement in performance from the previous week and encouragement for the fixture which will come in the league later in the season. Angmering were however very good for the win although the Greens were buoyed by the performance they would be disappointed by the mistakes made and not being able to cross over the line.
The final game of the day against Steyning. Legs heavy, bodies bruised but hearts still pounding the Greens took the field undaunted by previous losses and went for the win! Unfortunately there was little room given by the Strong Steyning side and the Greens quickly went 3 scores to 0 down. But fear not because the play of the day contender was to follow. The ball was moved well across the field to Peskett he drew his man and put Pepper through the gap. Pepper made good ground and had this been earlier in the day would have easily scored under the horns. Alas no, hauled down only metres from the line he offloaded to the ever present and impressive Peskett getting in on the 2-2-2, as a result going in under the sticks. Swift added the extras and that concluded the days events.
On reflection the Greens were ably managed and lead on the day by Captains Lynch and Wilcox. The front rows of Cox, Blackmore, Ali, Wilcox and debutant Boxhall fought for every inch and gained plenty against bigger more physical opponents. Rogers made an impressive debut, carrying well and defending stoutly, as did Volleyball Rep player Wisdom, unsurprisingly dominant in the line out. Clarkson was whole hearted and showed determination on the ball. Cook proved (on this showing) he may be the most talented of the brothers to represent WCR although he has big boots to fill! Lynch continued his excellent work at the breakdown and this made a great contribution to the Green effort. Perrins continued to impress with tenacity around the breakdown creating havoc in the opposing ranks, as did Johnson although offering a different threat to the defence. Swift was excellent all day, having time on the ball and using his boot to great effect on more than one occasion. The hard running of Peskett, George and Pepper was pleasing on the eye if not the defence and showed there is plenty of threat coming in weeks to come!
The players with their hand up for the MOM award were Boxhall for his performance as first time prop, he scrummaged very well and looked good in the loose. Pepper as the biggest threat on both sides of the ball was a real candidate, beating defenders with the ball and stopping attackers on D. Captain Wilcox showed he has added evasive work to his skill set and endurance to his conditioning regime making him a more effective player. However it was the finesse and touch of Swift with both hands and feet that made him our MVP of the tournament. A great summer signing with a big future with WCR.