Saffron Walden RUFC U16 26 v Bury St Edmunds RUFC U16 20
By Kirk Bonas
A Tale of Fine Margins
Saffron Walden have established themselves since the start of the season as one of the form teams, winning all their fixtures. Reflecting upon the scoreline, it would suggest that this was another straight forward contest, however that is far from the case.
With only 15 players available and unseasonably warm weather, it was always going to be a difficult task, surrendering 19 unanswered points due to errors in the first 15 minutes just reinforced this. However, as the half progressed the team came back into the game and following sustained pressure scored out wide to reduce the deficit. Reinvigorated the team continued to test the opposition defence, growing in confidence and displaying the fighting spirit shown from the outset of this season.
Entering into the second half there were few signs of tiredness and the team produced some excellent rugby, passing was accurate and strong running ensured that ground was constantly gained. Unfortunately indiscipline resulted in the team being reduced to 14 men for 10 minutes. Yet in this period the team imposed themselves upon the opposition and scored a short sided try. Saffron Walden also added to their score, however the team were definitely on the front foot and continued to threaten. With the penalty period finished, injury unfortunately again reduced the team to 14, yet with a quarter remaining the team maintained their go forward and scored an excellent try following cohesive linking play. Final score, Saffron Walden 26 Bury St Edmunds 20.
Although not a win, this result again emphasises how far the team have come. Very much a game of two halves, Saffron Walden winning the first and scoring 4 tries in total, whilst we won the second and scored 4 tries. A game which, on another occasion, could quite easily have gone in our favour, yet decisions upon this occasion did not necessarily go for us. Saffron Walden made the most of their opportunities and were worthy winners, showing composure when required rather than losing it. Well done to the team for maintaining their effort until the final whistle with no replacements, a monumental task in the conditions, especially as a sizeable part of the second half was with only 14 players.
Thanks to Saffron Walden for their hospitality and to all our parents for their support. Next week is a free week, following which we will welcome back a number from travelling, be it D of E or via aeroplane from more extravagant areas!