Worthing College Rugby Blues 22 Oaklands College 20
A wise man once said “A win with character is far superior to a win with style.” I have no problem today agreeing with this chap, indeed on this occasion he is correct.
Worthing and Oaklands renewed their now regular rivalry at U19 level in this friendly fixture at the home of the Wolves. The Blues started the match playing down the slope and with a slight breeze at their backs. Unfortunately in the opening encounters the visitors played a little bit too much ambitious rugby in their own half and it was the home side that had the first crack at points with a penalty just outside the 22m. Fortunately for the Blues this was not converted and the score remained 0-0.
Worthing played with plenty of gusto and began to build the quick offloading game that the conditions and pitch deserved. Mee, Lawal, Morris and Mills were making inroads with the service from Hunt at the base ever improving. Even with the upper hand in both territory and possession Worthing could not break through. This was until Colwell-Levene made the very most of a counter attack opportunity where he cut through the first and second line of defense, then skipped around the fullback and dived in for the 5. 5-0 Blues. The game progressed and it was another back this time Fogerty that was to benefit from the good work done by the forwards, he too went not only under but into the posts to score. The extras added and it was 12-0. Both tries were ‘Worldies’ and deserved a touch, and most people did!
If the first 20mins showed how far this side had come the next 20mins showed how far there still is to travel. With first a good pice of work at the base of the scrum pressure the Blues into a mistake and a try was conceded then cross field kick was not foreseen or dealt with. With the ball not going over either time it was Blues 12-10 up at the break.
Second half got underway and the visitors played some more positive rugby, with Fife, Gibson and Lawal gaining the upper hand in the front row. Dunk continued to produce some great work over the ball and Bath, Harkin and Evans becoming more threatening as the match matured. This showed as Bath crossed from a delightful offload from Harkin in the top left corner. Worthing extending the lead to 17-10. Still the Blues line out while not functioning to its best maintained most its ball. Captain Lake again pivotal in this endeavour, claiming much of the ball alongside Dunk and Mills. When all seemed well, it was then that the home side started playing some of their best rugby. The Blues had to defend for all they were worth. A number of attacks were repelled however it was a score in the corner that brought Oaklands back into the contest. Worthing now up 17-15.
Worthing managed to build some pressure and got into the opposition 22. There Mee took a quick penalty catching the defense off guard and making good metres towards the horns. The quick ruck ball then created and the ball was moved towards the touchline. Another quick ruck and Morris was bossing it at first receiver (yes Morris), he moved the ball to Gibson (standard) he in turn to the wing Lawal (YES actually Lawal) and he crossed for the 5points. Worthing now up 22-15.
Into the last 5mins and the entire bench had been unloaded, Hrydynskyy and Trevis were scrummaging well and the Blues managed to take ball against the head putting more pressure on the Oakland side. Masham carried well and made metres with ball in hand and Beecham was able to get the backs moving well under pressure.
However with only a couple of minutes left a speculative kick and good chase had seemed to bring the game back in to balance as the left wing dotted down, however it was not given by the official. But danger not averted as yet as the home side had a 5m scrum, 10m in from the attacking left touch line. The ball was moved to the 10 and he managed to get through the defensive line to score. 22-20 Worthing. With a nudge from just left of the posts to draw the match, the Flyhalf just pushed the ball and the Blues still in front with 30secs plus added time to play.
Worthing managed to turn over ball not before giving it back and allowing one last Oaklands attack. A misplaced kick put paid to the home efforts as the Blues dispatched the ball into touch with the final score Worthing 22 Oacklands 20.
A great fixture between two very well matched sides that could have gone either way with a different bounce here or there. But wins breed momentum and both the Blues and Greens have massive matches next week. Blues against Harold Effingham in the NatWest Vase and Greens Richmond in the BCS league.
So training Friday, lets carry on this from and build on the good performance.