Saturday, June 22, 2024

Rugby: Thurrock T-Birds back on top

Thurrock T-Birds 38 v 0 Trojans

TROJANS arrived at a chilly Oakfield sitting second in Championship One South, behind, but on the same League points as Thurrock, only score difference separated the 2 sides.

The early exchanges were fierce around the breakdown but Thurrock just seemed to be edging the attacking game as their kick chase proved superior.

From a halfway scrum, 2 phases of back play took Thurrock into the Trojans 22 then strong forward play set Thurrock up just 5 meters out and a strong charge by Hannah Duffy opened the scoring, Cook added the extras for 7-0 and the T-Birds were off and running.

Trojans had a good spell and threatened the Thurrock line before a knock on gave T-Birds the ball back on the 5 meter line for a scrum.

A good clearance kick and chase put pressure on the Trojans catcher and suddenly the T-Birds were in full flow. Midfield pressure compressed the defence and Harvey danced through the line, fixed the full back and executed the perfect 2 on 1 to put Sally Tuson away for the run to the line.

The final 10 minutes of the half saw some ebb and flow, but if Thurrock had been able to get their lineout to work, the game would almost certainly have been over with 3 lost on their own throw in Trojans 22. Trojans should have had a score of their own, but Sally Tuson ran down the breakaway Trojan literally inches from the line, and from the ruck they tried go wide, but failed to pass and catch with a 3 player overlap.

Still, 12-0 against second in the table at half time was at least acceptable.

Trojans came out for the second half fired up and matched Ts physically for a short while, but as Ts got into their stride, the offensive defence was pushing Trojans back and then Thurrock’s big runners started to punch holes around the breakdown.

Attacking wide out left, Harvey was just denied in the corner, but following a Trojan handling error, Thurrock went for the push over try from the scrum.
Illegally stopped inches from the line Cook shipped the ball to Longdon-Hughes, who made no mistake and crashed over from short range for 17-0.

Now in full flow and threatening everywhere, Ts saw Maddy Lockwood go to the bin for 10 minutes for a high tackle.
Quickly bringing on fresh legs to cope with being a player down, Ts hit one of their purple patches and tore Trojans apart.

t Bird Feb 1

The space of 3 minutes saw India Harvey and Sophie Tyler over the line for the bonus point and with the conversions from Cook bringing the score to 31-0 with 15 minutes still to go, the game was won.

Thurrock throttled back now, but Longdon-Hughes decided that one more try was justified and brought the score to 38-0.

Trojans should have finished off with a consolation score, but The T-Birds sheer bloody-mindedness in defence held them out despite being camped on the line for 5 minutes.

This leaves the T-Birds 5 points clear at the top of Championship One South and a point of any sort against Richmond IIs on March 5th will secure the League title.

Team :-Hepper, Duffy (T), Nichols, Franklin, Baker, Edwards, Lockwood, Dyche, Cook. G (4C)(Capt), Rettie, Parsad, Harvey (T), Tyler (T), Longdon-Hughes (2T), Tuson (T) Rep:-Picton.L, Picton.P, Lawther, Ferguson, Smith, Jordan

The T-Birds next game is away at Lichfield on 19th Feb, before returning to Oakfield for the last game of the League on 5th March.
On the 5th March there will be a pre match Lunch, tickets £25 including wine, if you are interested, email Secretary@ThurrockRFC.com

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. 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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