Thurrock 20, Billericay 24
ON Sunday (16 January) at Oakfield, Billericay RFC U16s gave a second half rugby masterclass in ball handling and offloading in the tackle. Trailing by ten points at the interval, the visitors, Billericay upped their game and outscored Thurrock by three tries to one in the second half much to the delight of their travelling support.
All seemed so different in the first half, as Thurrock U16s continued their great form of the previous fixture, with star man, Henry Overy popping up at the end of the defensive line to receive and score an early try, duly converted by Ethan Cook, 7-0.
Chances aplenty were coming Tees’ way as they piled in the pressure upfront in the pack.
However, after 15 minutes a single foray out of their own half by the visitors yielded a try in the corner, 7-5.
Despite Tees’ early dominance of possession, it was not until the 25th minute when prop Harrison Smythe rolled off the edge of a ruck to slide over the line for Tees second try 12-5.
Ethan Cook added a penalty kick for the home side just before the interval. At 15-5 Tees looked well set for another Essex Cup victory.
The second half was a different story with the young Tees U16s generally outplayed by the visitors in all areas. As mentioned early, in the second half, the visitors were superb in their ability to offload the ball effectively and keep possession.
Tees captain Joe Reynolds kept his team in check, their discipline never let them down and the boys defended gamely to repulse attack after attack from Billericay. Tees finished the game on a high note when fullback Milo Wilsher joined the home side attack to score a late consolation try in the corner.
The agony and ecstasy of sport means that this Essex Cup exit will hurt the boys and that’s a hard life lesson for them now, to the victors, the spoils.