[quote_left]Round 2 Surrey Rugby U13 League 4[/quote_left]
On a blustery, wet day at Hazelwood, the London Irish U13 Geese faced Reeds, with both teams coming off the back of losses in the opening round.
The opening minutes were tight with the Geese showing the benefits of their hard work on defence and breakdown over the previous two weeks. Despite the very strong cross-field wind, the Geese were passing well and going through phases. On two minutes, winger Alex went around the end of the Reeds defence from inside his own half and scorched through to the 22, where after lovely interlinked passing with Ethan, centre Alex went over in the corner for the opening try. It was not a day for kickers and the very difficult conversion was missed. Score: 5-0
[blockquote]Report from Trevor Burns[/blockquote]
Irish continued to break through the Reeds defence and another series of breaks augured well and showed how confidence can grow. The support running was key here with every run being supported by a very active backline. Alex Browne continued to test the Reeds defence with Irish putting very nice passing moves together. On 10 minutes, Reeds were running from inside their 22 when a superb tackle and jackal by scrum-half Killian, turned the ball over and saw it quickly pushed wide for Alex to run in for his second try. Score: 10-0
The Irish defence was solid and other than a few Reed breaks, they continued to probe in attack with fast, wide ball. Excellent forward work by Joe, Ciaran and Connor provided solid platforms for the backs to attack space. On 17 mins another passing move to the right on the Reeds 22 saw winger Anatoli put into space and show his scorching pace to go over for Irish’s third try. Reeds did not drop their heads and continued to go through the phases with their kicking game coming more to the fore. Their hard work paid dividends on 20 mins when hard running and good passing saw Reeds break the Irish defence and go over for their opening score. The wind got the better of the conversion. H-T 15-5.
The second half started tight with deteriorating weather. Five minutes in however a lovely individual move by centre Ethan saw him break from the Reeds 22 and go over for the first score of the second-half. Fly-half and Captain Ollie nailed the conversion into the wind. Score: 22-5
London Irish continued to press, with excellent forward work from props Stan, Bertie and flanker Aidan being key to an unyielding defensive display. Handling become difficult with the weather and probably little hands getting cold. Flanker Blue led the forwards charge with brave and very productive carrying seeing him making excellent yardage in traffic. Half-time changes had seen Kishan making his debut at prop and Chris replacing the mobile and committed Jack at lock. Multiple overlaps were now going to waste with slippy passing and over-carrying to blame. The Geese reverted to type and the forwards picked up the slack with multiple pick and gos on the Reeds try line. A close in snipe by Killian was held up over the line and the play was brought back to the Five for an earlier penalty. From the resultant drive Chris went over for a well earned try. Score: 27-5
The game now became very broken with fullback Rory providing excellent cover and returning the Reeds kicks at speed. The Irish pack was very dominant with the frequent scums all going very well and every put-in was won. Another h-t sub, Morgan, was providing strong go forward ball when carrying and with 3 minutes to go, he smashed through three tackles from halfway and charged all the way home to touch down under the posts providing flyhalf and leader Jones with his easiest kick of the day. F-T: 34-5
Overall a wonderful team performance, the bedrock of the Geese success last season and the platform that has to be created this season. MOTM was Alex and Goose of the Day was Blue, with honourable mentions for Ciaran and Bertie.
Word must also go to the young referee, Ashley Carter, for an excellent performance, very good use of the advantage rule and a keen eye for the offside line. Home support was excellent with the U13 Exiles squad and families lending their support.
Onwards and upwards now for the Geese. Next fixture on Dec 13th, away to Old Alleyians in Dulwich. COYG!!