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Good win, but could have been a lot more

By Jim Morgan at Woodbridge on Tuesday, 4th October 2011.

SUFFOLK MERIT LEAGUE, DIVISION ONE: Woodbridge 2nd XV 0 Haverhill 1st XV 43. Match report.

Borrowing two players from Haverhill, Woodbridge hosted the travelling Haverhill team on a day more suited for cricket than rugby.

The Woodbridge start was bossed by Haverhill’s George Self, who set the ball well for Haverhill. A knock-on led to a Woodbridge scrum, with Haverhill destroying the Woodbridge pack, pushing them off the ball and driving forward.

On five minutes, the second scrum on the Woodbridge 22 was no different, with man-of-match Chris Flannery breaking off the back of the turned-over scrum and Kieran Ewens, running the perfect angle, receiving the ball for the first try. The conversion was just wide.

Camping in the Woodbridge 22, huge pressure led the Woodbridge fly half to kick to Adam Hunt on ten minutes. Setting the ball with great skill allowed Adrian Cooper the opportunity to drive to the line and set for Flannery to punch over the line and under the posts for the Ewens conversion and 0-12.

A great move on 15 minutes with Hunt, Flannery, Self and Alex Hieatt formed the base for Gavin Hope to throw wide to Ewens and then Brodie Patrick to smash over the line under the posts for a Ewens converted try and 0-19.

Woodbridge finally crossed the Haverhill halfway line on 30 minutes, only to see Danny Bishop break out 70 metres and then for Haverhill to again destroy the Woodbridge scrum.

Woodbridge came back at Haverhill, but tenacity from Carl Anderson saw him clear up the ball and race 40 metres up field. The ever-present Flannery picked the ball and laid off to Ewens, who could have claimed the points but allowed Harry Marsh the privilege of picking the ball and scoring his first senior try for the club and 0-26 on half-time.

On 46 minutes, Haverhill lost prop Hieatt when he popped a calf muscle and was replaced by Daniel Harris. Quick rearrangements in the scrum saw Marsh move into the back row and Anderson move to the three-quarter line with Dan Harris to hooker and Simon Potter, who played a superb role in the loose ball for Haverhill, moving to prop.

Without going to uncontested scrums, Haverhill still destroyed the Woodbridge scrum, winning against the head for Flannery to break out, and laid off to Hunt who got the ball to five metres and Potter picked and crashed over the line for a Ewens converted try and 0-33.

Haverhill could and should have run up a cricket score at this point, but kept losing the ball at the last second and many try opportunities went begging. This is something they need to think about for future games.

On 70 minutes, Gibson crossed the line for 0-38 and then on 75 minutes Joe Brown crossed to make the score 0-43.

The game finished with a great touch tackle from Marsh leading him to eat the boot of the Woodbridge player and pick up a cut face and the final whistle.

Good performance all round, but against stronger opposition would have been punished for some of the lapses.

Haverhill Online News

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