It was a return to rugby, after their seasonal winter break, for Tees’ u16s away at Chelmsford. Thurrock u16s, played down the hill in the first half and set about their task with their usual aplomb. The initial exchanges were as fierce as always and after an early attack, Tee’s Winger De Breuk was able to step inside the opposing Chelmsford defender to score a try for the visitors 5-0.
Chelmsford RFC struggled to get out of their own half up the hill. Thurrock’s centres Overy and Reynolds formed an unbeatable pair in midfield as they made tackle after tackle to frustrate the homeside’s valiant efforts.
Tees’ dominance paid off midway through the first half when, profiting from an excellent line break from no. 8 Martorana, Holding went over for a try which Cook converted 12-0.
Thurrock needed another score, with their first half ‘down the hill and wind’ advantage, and that score for Tees came from a brilliant opportunist intercept try from scrum half, Ethan Cook, 17-0. Just before half time, Tees successfully contested a line out and worked the ball through the hands to earn a penalty kick in front of the posts which Cook happily slotted between the sticks, 20-0.
The start of the second half was an entirely different story. Within six minutes of the restart Chelmsford had scored two tries and at 12- 20, the homeside seemed well poised to go on and win the game.
However Tees u16s just held onto the ball and went through some short phases. Not pleasant to watch but Thurrock forwards like Harrison, Ray, Cooper and Healy can play a very patient possession game, when required.
Eventually, Tees got up the hill and Healy swung a long pass for winger Diakite to do what he does best and score a try under the Chelmsford posts. Cook duly converted 27-12.
Tees quickly followed up with their fifth try of the day when no.8 Martorana raced through and outpaced the Chelmsford defence for a fine individual try, 34-12.
Tees had lots of defending to do in the final quarter of the second half. Chelmsford scored one final consolation try which left the final score Chelmsford 17 Thurrock 34.
Next Sunday 11am, 16th January, Thurrock u16s play Billericay at Oakfield in the Essex Cup, all welcome!