Moseley Interclub ‘Friendly’
Colts XV 17 – Oak 31
A squad made up of past and present U19 Colts, together with a couple of members of the colts coaching team took on a Moseley Oak squad in a pulsating encounter.
Playing on the main pitch the Colts kicked off up hill into a stiff wind. The opening exchanges were a bit scrappy and from a breakdown on the half way line Oak secured the ball and passed it to the centre who, running at speed, broke through the Colt defensive line. He was tackled short of the line but a successful offload gave Oak the opening score after just 3 minutes.
From the restart Colts pressurised the Oak defence and were giving as good as they got. However, it what was to become a familiar tactic, Oak used the wind to kick away danger on several occasions, only for the Colts to gather and start once more slow progress up the pitch. Play continued this way for much of the rest of the half.
The early scrums were uncontested due to the age difference of the front rows. This changed after about 25 minutes when two guest adult props took to the field and immediately started pushing the Oak scrum backwards. Oak though were able to limit the damage and from another visit into the Colts half, this time with ball in hand they again broke through the defence to score in the right hand corner. A good kick added the extras to make the score 12 – 0
Another try to Oak quickly followed but the Colts could count themselves extremely unfortunate. Oak had gathered the previous restart and with the Colts making up ground they used the familiar tactic of a long clearance from inside their 22. The ball carried on the wind and went over the sideline before swerving back in and landing just infield. It continued to roll, failing to go into touch and also stopping short of the dead ball line. Confusion in the attending Colts as to if the ball was still in play meant they did not deal with the situation, leaving the Oak attack just to simply lay a hand on the ball to score, with another good kick adding the extras.
The Colts heads could have dropped but they did not. From the restart they were awarded a scrum which was comfortably won. The ball was worked up into the Oak 22 and with Oak infringing Colts had a penalty in front. Unusually they opted for a scrum, and secured the ball once more - Oak were having to work hard in defending their line. After several phases of play and 4 minutes into overtime Stuart Greg broke through for a deserved score. A successful conversion brought the half to a close and the score to 7-19 in Oaks favour.
Oak kicked of the second period with a long ball into the 22. They were soon upon the Colts and won a couple of penalties which were kicked to touch. Wit a line out from about 7 metres Oak caught and drove and crossed for another try, the conversion proving unsuccessful.
For much of the second half both teams tried to run the ball at their opponents. Oak had the ball just inside their own half but good pressure from the Colts gained turnover and a penalty. A quickly take tap allowed them to break through Oaks line and Josh Mcpherson to score.
The scrums had gone back to being uncontested and Oak had one just inside Colt territory. Clever positioning and a pick and go allowed them to break through the line. Colts were putting in the tackles but some good passing allowed Oak another try, with the conversion successful once more.
Colts put the pressure from the restart and won a couple of penalties. From a line out deep inside Oak 22 they caught and drove, before passing the ball out and broke through with Hayden Pitt to touch down for what was to be the final score.
A few minutes of play remained before the referee indicated that time was up allowing Oak to kick to touch for the final whistle.
It was a keenly contested match, in front of a good crowd. The Colts perhaps played the better rugby but were ultimately outdone by individual strength and experience. Oak were more clinical in their finishing and probably deserved the victory – but they knew they had been in a game!
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