Colchester RUFC U16 17 v Bury St Edmunds RUFC U16 17
By Kirk Bonas
Near, oh so near!
Our initial cup game of the season, having received a walk over win last week, was against last season's champions Colchester. Recent seasons have seen Colchester beat the team comfortably, however entering off the back of recent good results there was renewed confidence of producing an upset.
From the first kick it was evident that the game would be evenly matched, especially at the breakdown which was keenly contested. Gradually the team grew further into the contest and following sustained pressure, scored the first points of the game. Colchester as expected immediately fought back, a clever kick being secured close to the line and eventually grounded to reduce the deficit. Unperturbed the team rallied again, forwards and backs combining to score out wide. As the half reached its conclusion the team failed to clear effectively and Colchester capitalised and scored following a strong run, half time 12 - 10 in the team's favour.
Playing into the wind the second half the team were put under increasing pressure by Colchester's kicking. Possession was squandered a number of times by both teams, prior to a well constructed try which provided Colchester with the lead. As the game drew towards its conclusion the team continued to threaten the Colchester line, met by resolute defence, however eventually the pressure told with another try out wide which unfortunately was not converted. During the final minutes the team secured great field position, yet lack of composure resulted in the ball being knocked on, signalling the end of the game, 17 - 17.
Whilst not a loss, it felt like a case of what could have been if the team had capitalised on the chances created. Throughout the game everyone contributed fully, there is increasing cohesion between forwards and backs, defensively everyone is becoming more aware of their role and working collectively. Today was another indication of the progress made this season by the team, to be unhappy with a draw against Colchester epitomizes the belief the boys now have in themselves.
Thank you to Colchester for hosting us today, every minute of the game was passionately contested, aggressive defence from both sides was met with evasive running, providing a fascinating spectacle. Next week will see Southwold visit the Haberdan and considering recent contests, it should be a good game!