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Hertford RFC v Bury St Edmunds RFC result
Posted: Wed 17 Dec 2014 11:50 pm
The final game of 2014 brings second placed Bury St Edmunds to Hoe Lane and with it another big test, both sides have the same win loss ratio but Bury have the better points difference and five more points which have to be bonus points. A good game to go and see the rugby union year out on.
Kick off 3 pm.
Re: Hertford RFC v Bury St Edmunds RFC result
Posted: Sun 21 Dec 2014 2:21 am
The Hertford match report takes you through the match with enthusiasm which I cannot achieve so with permission Hertford RFC below is the match report in detail and I only wish I could have been there!
An incident packed second half saw four reds and one yellow metered out by referee David Cousins.
The start of the game followed a familiar pattern as Hertford’s forward phase play forced BSE to try and slow things down which resulted in a bread and butter penalty for James Russell after 5 minutes. 3-0
Bury showed their intentions when, soon after, they were awarded a kickable penalty but opted to kick for the corner. Lewis Hett stole the lineout to put an end to the attack.
For the next 10 minutes both teams were testing the other side out with a continuous stream of high and not so high kicks.
The next score came at 16 minutes when BSE were awarded a penalty for a scrum offence. They showed they also have a useful kicking tool in the unusual guise of Prop Brad Cook. Obviously no one ever told him that Props don’t kick! 3-3
With neither side looking particularly dominant the next threat was provided by Hertford when a series of switches and offloads in midfield involving Capt Sloan, Hett, Culverhouse and the busy Jones forced the visitors into another indiscretion. Russell gratefully accepted the invitation to put Hertford back in front. 6-3
A promising attack started when Belton broke free from a scrum and made 30 metres could have resulted in a try but broke down when a pass in the centre went to floor.
When Bury look back at this game they should probably blame poor discipline for their loss but not just the red card hat trick. Hertford extended their lead when Sloan’s pressure on scrum half Shaq Meyers, caused him to fumble. The refs decision wasn’t going to be changed by his protestations and the resultant penalty against him for ‘gobbing off’ was easily slotted over by Russell 9-3.
Almost immediately BSE hit back with a penalty of their own from Brad Cook. 9-6
This was Bury’s time to be on top and sustained pressure forced Hertford offside and Cook informed the host’s that his boot was a match for Mr Russell’s. 9-9
With half time approaching BSE’s backline, which did look impressive at times swiftly moved the ball from a scrum on the right hand side of the pitch in their own half. Two miss passes got the ball to wingman Soloman who evaded the attentions of Russell. His inside pass and loop to regain the offload was class and deserved a try which went unconverted. 9-14
With the clock ticking down the home pack got busy led by quick thinking and tap penalty that almost got the impressive Hooker Rob Jones over the line. Recycled ball to midfield saw Belton bosh through the centre forcing the defence to concede another easy penalty for Russell on the half time whistle. 12-14 at the break.
I would guess Bury’s HT chat consisted of a set of well trodden Rugby clichés ‘keep possession’ ‘go through the phases’ and ‘don’t kick it away ’because that what they did after the break and to great effect.
A series of hard drives resulted in an offside penalty advantage which almost cost 7 points as centre Mann’s fine line under the posts came to nothing as he knocked the ball on 3 metres out. The ref came back for the easily kickable 3 points for cook. 12-17
Moments later a flare up after a scrum resulted in few moments of fisticuffs. The referee did not seem to see much of it but he did consult at length with his two appointed touch judges. The result? Two straight reds for Bury, Prop Kivalu and flanker Black and one for Hertford prop Jamie Prince.
Whilst not knowing exactly what went on, this game was not a bad tempered affair before or after this incident so it seemed a little harsh but maybe we will learn more later!
The immediate effect of this was a home side penalty which was kicked to the corner. The Hertford catch and drive followed by pick and drive was deliberately pulled down just short of the line. Referee Cousins had no hesitstion on awarding Hertford a penalty try which Russell duly converted. I can’t help thinking that if this had occurred when the ref hadn’t just sent to Bury players off, the culprit would have been spending 10 on the naughty step! 19-17
Shortly after, the home team almost extended their lead when a nice blindside break from Sargent set Taylor Mosen away but a poorly executed final pass meant the attack came to nothing. This was Mosens only blot on a performance that saw him awarded Man of the Match.
BSE came back again and a series of drives saw them to the try line under the posts. Quick recycled ball would have seen them score a try but the large frame of ‘inexperienced’ replacement James Keen was ‘unable to get off the ball’. Whilst obviously disappointed to be carded I don’t think his protestations would have stood up in court. Penalty Cook 19-20
With numbers even, be it for 10 minutes only, BSE piled on the pressure. Their recycled ball was quick allowing there useful back line to stretch the home defence. Hertford can learn from the way they drove well past the ball to take defenders out and produce that quick ball.
Despite concerted defence something had to give and a combination of lack of numbers and tired bodies out wide allowed their stocky little centre Tim Mann to burst through and score a good try. Cook the Prop converted again. 19-27.
Further pressure on the home line ensued and a knock on resulted in a defensive 5mtr scrum. The reliable Belton picked and drove to the 22 but when he was dragged down the support was too slow and he gave away a penalty for Holding on. Que that Prop Cook for another 3 points. 19-30
11 points behind with 10 minutes to go and the Hoe Lane faithful were beginning to think this one had gotten away from us. But no one had told the 18 shirts that. Back to one man advantage and Hertford came back again. When the visitors stole a Hertford lineout near their own line it seemed game over but when the clearance kick was charged down Rob Jones capped a fine display by reacting first and touching down. The kick drifted wide 24-30.
The next few minutes were nail biting as Hertford threw caution to the wind. A long miss pass was almost intercepted but knocked on, followed by a deliberate knock on, the ensuing penalty, Hertford kicked for the corner. Catch and drive, halted, pick and go, 4 phases and as the Hertford maul collapses the ref sees the Bury replacement Charlie Pask deliberately kneeing a Hertford player. Red Card.
With the numerical advantage Hertford elected the scum from the penalty which was reset twice before Belton picked up and drove short of the line. Now Hertford infringe. Penalty BSE. Clear to touch. Lineout infringement. Penalty Hertford. Ref indicates no time for lineout. Tap and go two phase and out it goes.
The crowd and everyone on the pitch new this was going to be a try but how close could the final recipient, Stuart Smart, get to the posts? Not very. 29-30
All kickers have their routine and the routine of Hertford’s ‘Iceman’ James Russell? Put the ball down, walk back 5 paces, turn around and kick the bugger! 31-30 to huge applause.
Seldom has Hoe lane seen such an exciting finish.
Bury were not second in the league for no reason, they are a good side. They may have been missing half a dozen but so are we. Today’s win was about strength in depth, depth of character, playing for each other, playing for the badge, the desire to win and never give up.
Winning is a habit!
In an almost equally thrilling match both clubs 2nd XV also faced each other and Hoe Lane today. With trys from James Kingsley, Matt Bailey, Joe Larner, Rhodri Dawes and Jack Simpson, with conversions from Dawes Hertford 2's also reversed the early season score with an almost equally narrow margin of victory 33-31. Remember those names!
Report by Ged Murphy
This excellent win lifts Hertford up to fifth place in the league and an excellent place to finish 2014 it should also be pointed out that they are only three points off second place and seven off first but lets not get carried away and just enjoy the moment of success.
Merry Christmas and a Happy Healthy 2015.