Match Report GLoucestershire u20s v Hampshire 25-3-18
JASON LEONARD COUNTY CHAMPIONSHIP 2018
GLOUCESTERSSHIRE U20s 13 v HAMPSHIRE U20s 12.
Havant RFC 25/3/18
In a, at times fractious encounter, Gloucestershire prevailed by one point. Head coach Richard Planchant was naturally pleased with a “hard and narrow win against a quality side”. Considering that before the game he had 8 players pull out of the squad for various reasons he is now faced with a “ a selection headache going forward” as all the ‘new’ lads acquitted themselves well. He said that “it just goes to show what the strength in depth the county has”. And a win is a win.
Both teams needed to win this game in order to progress to the quarterfinals. Maybe this made the players a little too anxious at times because both sides were guilty of clumsy errors at critical phases and it probably accounts for the high number of yellow cards.
The first period was relatively even and whilst most of the play lacked penetration from either side it livened up towards the end of the first half with a surge by McCann just falling short of the line.
By half time Hampshire had lost 3 players to the sin bin and Gloucestershire 1! The only scores in this period were two penalties from Tom Web (Hartpury College). At half time the score was Gloucestershire 6 to Hampshire 0.
Licking our lips at the start of the second half Gloucestershire had the advantage with 14 players 12. However, it was in fact Hampshire who both looked livelier and scored first. With about 5 minutes played Hampshire exploited a Gloucestershire defensive lapse and scored a good try. By this time yellow cards were expiring so quickly it was hard to keep track without being miked up to the referee!
Hampshire with a second wind at this time looked strong and were pressing forward when Will Baldwin (Cinderford RFC) intercepted near his own 22 and sprinted unopposed to score the match-winning try. Tom Webb converted the try.
So we could all relax now it was 13 to 5 to Gloucestershire?
Not on your nelly-Hampshire came back- Gloucestershire had chances to put it beyond dispute but fluffed their chances and then Hampshire kept responding. This was knock out rugby. Hampshire got their just deserts by scoring under the post to make it 13 to 12 with by my reckoning about 8 minutes to go. What a nervous last few minutes, which seemed to go on and on and on? In fact the electronic score board said that the second half went on for 49 minutes. The score didn’t change only the length of our fingernails. Gutsy rugby from both sides.
Gloucestershire now progress to the Quarterfinals playing Hertfordshire at Hertford RFC on Sunday the 1st April- KO 2pm.
15. Tom Webb – Hartpury College
14. Will Baldwin – Cinderford
13. Dan Nicholls - Cinderford
12. Eric White – Fairford
11. Sam Polledri- Cleve
10. Oliver Aherne – Old Pats
9. Tom Knight- Chosen Hill FP
1. Costner Lane –Lydney
2. Dewi Wilcox-© - Cinderford
3. Beck Phillips- Old Pats
4. Callum Thompson – Hartpury College
5. Chris McCann- Cleve
6. Toby Powell- Cinderford
7. Sam Taylor- Hartpury College
8. Jack Daynes- Hartpury College
16. Brian Ncube- Lydney
17. Emre Court- Gloucester Uni
18. Jared Du Plessis- SGS Filton
19. Ben Davies- Royal Agric College
20. Dan Harris – Frampton Cotterell
22. Dan Tyler- Cardiff Met.