Sunday, September 24, 2023

Rugby: By Jove, T-Birds beat Hove!


Thurrock T-Birds 27 v 9 Hove

EVEN though Hove have ever beaten T-Birds in a League game, for some reason, they are always extremely difficult to put away.

The Ts seem to find it really hard to score trys against them at their place, so 5 and a bonus point was a welcome result on Sunday.

Hove always field a massive pack and their backs are much improved over recent seasons so going there to play up their hill is never fun, even though everyone enjoys a trip to the seaside.

Pinned back into their own half by Hove’s dominant scrum for the first 10 minutes Ts finally managed to pilfer a loose ball on their own 5 meter line and a few phases of ruck and recycle set Kat Emerson away from the halfway line to skin 2 defenders and open the scoring. The extras from Cook made it 0-7 and Ts breathed a bit easier.

Retaining the ball from Kick off let Ts play and they found themselves in s a series of lineouts on Hove’s 5 meter line. Despite Hove’s scrum superiority, Ts skill and organisation made them dominant in the maul. After the 5th penalty at the lineout and maul, the referee lost patience and carded a Hove prop.

The 6th lineout and drive resulted in another try for Ts as Twin Frank Jordan smashed over the line.

Hove dominated the last 20 of the first half, their scrum ensuring a constant supply of possession no matter who’s put in and they finally managed to push Ts back over the line from a 5 meter scrum to finish the half at 7-12 and the game in the balance.

Downhill with the wind behind them Ts tried to inject some pace into the second half and win some territory. Playing into the downhill corner Hove conceded a lineout and Ts executed their efficient catch and drive for Clare Phelps to score in the corner.

At 7-17 and playing up hill into the wind, Hove’s pack began to falter and it looked like they’d settle for a narrow loss. They slowed the game at every opportunity with constant scrum resets and injuries and tried to bore Ts to death.

Ts were having none of it and raised the pace at every opportunity. Finally putting pressure on Hove’s scrum, Cook stole the ball as it came out on the Hove side and Ts went wide through the hands for new recruit Stopard-Baker to dot down.

Now with only 5 minutes left T’s threw themselves at Hove in search of the 5th try and all important bonus point.

With last play called, Ts ran it from a lineout 30 meters out and in their best play of the game it was impossible to tell forwards from backs as Ts put the ball through the hands and went wide ne way and wide back again the other. Second row Rachel French completed the move and Cook kicked the extras for Ts to run out 7-29 winners.

Team: Emerson (T), Harris, Tyler, Harvey, Franklin, Rettie, Cook (2C), Nichols, Foy, Hepper, French (T), Jordan. F (T) , Baker, Dyche, Phelps (T) . Rep: , Wheeler, Mountjoy, Stopard-Baker (T), Ortega-Corales

The T-Birds are at Home to Henley next Sunday 18th October, 2.30 KO.

As always, Thurrock Ladies, the T-Birds welcome new players of any standard to their 2 teams. No matter how big or small, there is a place for you in a Rugby Team.

The 2nd XV is growing weekly and now has its own dedicated Coaching and Management team. Many are beginners, playing in their first Season, so don’t be put off if you are new to the game.

We can promise you great training and a great social life. Just turn up on a Wednesday evening at 7.30.


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