Match Report
Heath RUFC (44) vs York R.I. RUFC (7)
Saturday 21 October 2006
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The 2nds go rolling on.

Reporter: Spud Taylor
Dated: 30 November -0001
Heath 2nds. Heath commenced the home Merit Table game against York R.I. determined to continue their great start to the season. Heath kicked off towards the river end and immediately put their opponents under pressure. A home scrum in the York R.I. “22” was won and after excellent recycling by the forwards, the ball was spun out to the backs and centre, Simon BROWN was on hand to take a short pass and break through the defence to score a try under the posts. The try was converted by Oliver COOK to give the home side a lead of 7-0. However, shortly afterwards, a kick to touch was missed, York RI attacked and a penalty was then conceded. An excellent kick to the corner led to an attacking line out 5 metres out from the Heath line from which giant second row, S.JOLL took the ball on the peel and used his long reach to score a try near to the posts which was converted by T.GREAVES to level the score at 7-7. Although Heath were dominating possession, they struggled to put points on the board due to misplaced/dropped passes, knock-on”s and wrong options being taken. Having said this, both Mark STEAD and Oliver COOK were unlucky not to be awarded tries being judged to have been held up over the line. Heath did increase their lead in the 32nd minute after being awarded a penalty in the York R.I. “22” which was converted by Oliver COOK. The score was now 10-7. The halftime whistle was blown with no addition to the score and Heath started the second half with a slender lead but feeling that just minor adjustments in tactics would lead to a more fruitful points tally. In the first few minutes of the half, the desired improvement was not evident and the score could have been levelled but for York R.I.”s decision to kick for the corner looking for the try rather than taking the easy 3 points from a penalty in the home “22”. Heath defended the line out well and worked their way back upfield. Chris MERRICK then entered the fray replacing Mark MATTOCK in the back row and Tim COOK replaced the injured Roger HAMMOND at prop. Shortly afterwards, the game was held up for some time to allow referee, Hanson HAIGH, to receive treatment to his leg after being knocked to the floor. After the pause, the Heath boys then began to put their game together as a “15” with excellent play by both forwards and backs, the ball being moved forward at pace. The pressure told in the 55th minute when the forwards provided an excellent platform for the ball to be transferred down the line for full back Emlyn JAMES to enter the line and score an unconverted try in the corner to make the score 15-7. The referee then had to leave the field due to his injury and, with the agreement of both captains, Spud TAYLOR then officiated for the rest of the match. Heath”s confidence continued to increase and they played some excellent flowing rugby with backs and forwards combining in some super inter-passing. The lead was increased in the 60th minute when, from such play, the ball was moved left to winger, Gavin WIGGINS, to score an unconverted try in the corner. The score was now 20-7 and the opponents were visibly wilting under the constant, intense pressure from the home “15”. Shortly afterwards, the ball was taken forward 40-50 metres by excellent passing and backing-up before the ball was taken by the supporting Mark WARRENDER some 15 metres out and he used his strength to score a try next to the posts. The try was converted by Martin SHAW to give Heath a clear lead of 27-7. Replacements were then able to be made and Dean COTTON, David PIGEON and youngster, Matthew HALLETT came on to replace Oliver COOK, Rob OWEN and John DENWOOD. Heath continued to play expansive, positive rugby and from an attacking line out close to the opponents line, the forwards secured the ball, drove over the line and Tim COOK scored a well-worked try. The conversion was missed but the lead was now a commanding 32-7. There was now 7 minutes left to play and, from the kick off, Heath immediately attacked once more, hungry to register more points which they did when, after more excellent interpassing between backs and forwards, the ball found its way to Mark WARRENDER for the flanker to score his second try of the afternoon. The conversion was missed but the score was now 37-7 and the opponents were well and truly beaten and awaiting the final whistle with increased anticipation. There was time for one further score by the Heath lads when after further tremendous play between forwards and backs, the ball was spun down the line for birthday boy, Emlyn JAMES to enter the line and score in the corner. Gavin WIGGINS stepped up to take the last kick of the game and finished in style with a superb conversion making the final score 44-7. With very minor adjustment to tactics and mind set, Heath showed exactly what they could do in the second half by destroying the opposition with some excellent, enterprising and supporting play. They did take time to “wake up” but the wait was worthwhile in the end. Man of the match awards went to centre Simon BROWN who was outstanding both in attack and defence on his return from a lengthy leg injury and prop, Rick CARTER, who again put in a consistent, hard-working performance in the front row in both tight and loose. Heath have maintained their 100% record after 5 Merit Table games and have now won their last 7 games. What a great start!!! Let”s keep it going, boys.



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