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Long season ahead for rugby club in top flight

By Jim Morgan at Southwold on Monday, 13th September 2010.

EASTERN COUNTIES LEAGUE DIVISION ONE: Southwold 74 Haverhill 0. Match report.

On the day Haverhill Cricket Club went up to the top division of their league as champions, Haverhill Rugby Club started their quest in the top flight of the Eastern Counties League.

Travelling the two hours to Southwold, a group of valiant supporters were hopeful that the increased level would not be too great. For the first ten minutes there were some hopeful signs, with the new partnership of Hope and Ewens working well and the scrum looking solid in the set piece.

On five minutes, Haverhill pressure won a scrum 30 metres out, with Ewens kicking well, but the ball just scraping past the upright. Southwold came back at Haverhill and a third penalty given by Haverhill on nine minutes led to Southwold taking the three points on offer.

It then became a bit of a procession with Southwold scoring every three to five minutes as Haverhill missed tackles and gave away penalties with alacrity.

By 30 minutes, Haverhill were 28-0 down but the youngest man on the team Brodie Patrick was showing the commitment needed, with crunching tackle after tackle.

Just before half-time, Haverhill gave away the ninth penalty of the half with the referee giving a stern talking to the Haverhill lock Ransome for not rolling away.

At the start of the second half, Haverhill continued to work as best they could, with Patrick and the ever-young Carl Anderson getting into the mix.

Some stoical defence from Mike Woods and Brad Gibson kept Southwold out. However, the loss of hooker Carl Smith (Ben Jones) and Ricky Harris (Neil Richard) inside ten minutes meant the pack and back line being shuffled about.

On 50 minutes Southwold crossed the line in the corner to make the score 33-0 and this became 38-0 on 57 minutes.

Haverhill were lucky not to get a sin bin when there was a penalty for illegal use of the boot on 65 minutes. The penalty was run and Southwold crossed the line to take the score to 45-0.

Haverhill actually managed to get near the Southwold line, but the move broke down and Southwold broke and ran the full length of the pitch to score in the corner making the score 50-0 with ten minutes remaining.

With replacement Ben Jones leaving the field with eight minutes to go, Haverhill were down to 14 men and uncontested scrums, where it became a bit of a turkey-shoot as Southwold put another 24 points on the board. making the score 74-0 at the final whistle.

Much of what went wrong can be put right on the training pitch, but with a penalty count of 12 and missed tackles everywhere, this discipline needs to be enacted quickly in order to achieve the club's aim of consolidating this year to stay up.

Haverhill Online News

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