Worthing College Blues 52 Steyning 0
The Blues went to Steyning in the first round of the NatWest Cup to face an enthusiastic and hard working Steyning Grammar side.
The game started on the immaculate turf with Worthing playing up the hill into a slight breeze. The opening encounters went the way of the visitors and it was 5mins before Gibson scored and converted to make it 7-0 Blues. Continued pressure from the visitors made for some great defence from the Steyning and this continued until the Blues crossed again through Scott, Gibson again adding the extras 14-0 Worthing. This process continued throughout the first half with the Blues putting pressure on and scoring another two converted tries by Hassan. Gibson adding extras on both occasions.
With only a few minutes left on the clock at the end of the first period Scott was binned for a late tackle, this his last involvement as Swift replaced him after the half. Worthing weathered a period of sustained pressure when down to 14 at the start of the 2nd half and while the structure was not great guts and determination kept the line from being broken. With the introduction of Swift the Blues were up to a full compliment and that signaled the end of any come back the home side may have been planning.
The Blues fell foul of the officials whistle on far too many occasions and this placed excessive amounts of pressure on the defensive structure for much of the 3rd 20mins of the game. However when play flowed and Worthing were able to utilise their superior strength, progress was made. Scores from Fogerty, Hassan, an excellent individual score from Harkin and an opportunistic finish from Evans left everyone in no doubt that it was a conclusive victory for the visiting side.
A solid all round performance from a Worthing side that has yet to really gel together but has made strides forward this week. The front row was strong with Calleja and Lee coming on to replace Gibson and Trevis (injury), the engine room of Mills and Hassan functioned well in the line out and was supported in this endeavour by Captain Lake. His strong ball carrying and leadership helped steer the Blues (playing red today) to safety. Masham and Bathurst in the first half had a good balance and this was supplemented by a similar pairing of Dunk and Packham in the second. Masham/Dunk being robust in the collision and Bathurst/Packham doing lots of work over the ball and harrying the half backs. Hammond made an impact when he came on and added extra physicality to the mix while Doughty hit his jumpers well and was clearly enjoying the loose game in open field. The half backs of Hunt/Scott then later Steggles (returning to his old school) and Swift directed play well and started to build meaningful relationships helping drive the team forward. Fogerty linked up well with Deschamp in the centres, both creating doubt in the defence and both crossing for scores. The outside backs of Evans, Byrne and Harkin worked very hard off the ball and countered well when the chance arose. This no more evident than when both wingers scored from poor defensive clearances.
So on to the next round and the possibility of play the highly fancied Eastbourne College, a powerhouse in Sussex rugby for many years. Worthing have nothing to fear but plenty to embrace as the challenges get greater and opposition tougher.
Try: Fogerty, Scott, Gibson, Deschamp, Evans, Harkin, Hassan 2.
Cons: Gibson 5, Doughty,
MOM: Jordan Harkin- Excellent display of aggressive defence and a very well finished try.