Academy Match Reports 2017-18

Under 17s v Abingdon 18th February 2018

Buzzard U17 were on the road to Abingdon RFC for the first time. Without some key players due to injuries and other commitments, Buzzards were lent 3 players but played the whole game a player short, not that it was noticeable. Buzzards had a great day on the field, winning 0 – 38 although the score did not reflect the closeness of the match and the aggressiveness of the Abingdon forwards in the rucks. Buzzards attacked from the off and kept on the pressure. George Pratt soon got the backs moving and through quick thinking a kick through the defensive line was pounced on by Buzzards to open the scoring. The U16’s front row (Max Green, Julian Gallie and Haydon Jones) were soon bossing the scrum, with George Burr and Harry Eacott leaping like salmons in the lineout. Flankers Louis Beer (captain) and Rhys Richards were tackling machines and LJ Green was very effective in ball carrying at no.8.

Buzzards were effective in using their backs who all participated in penetrating or flanking runs at the opposition who were relying too heavily on their heavy forwards. Ollie Gronert was constantly finding the gaps, bewildering the Abingdon backs and Dane Richards also made some decisive runs with ball in hand.

Buzzards second try came from Burr confidently winning a line-out and setting up a maul for Beer. Successive phases involving LJ Green and M Green, who was inches from the line, ended with Gallie picking up from the ruck and diving over. From the kick-off, there was slick interplay between M Green and Beer down the flank who passed to Gallie in space who managed to outpace the Abingdon backs to score under the posts. Beer got his name on the score sheet after a period of sustained attacking phases as he found the gap to power through to score. Gronert at full back made key tackles in one-on-one situations to keep Buzzards sheet clean at 0-24 at half time.

In the second half, Abingdon stepped up their play and there were long periods of play when Buzzards had to defend, often within 5m of their try line. A break in discipline also found them losing ground, the referee quickly penalising any backchat. However the Abingdon forwards were tiring. From a secure scrum on the Buzzards 5m line, Pratt moved the ball quickly out to the pacy Gronert who made a dummy pass to create the gap for Beer who outran the Abingdon backs. Another break-out from the Buzzards 22 by Beer, and good hands in passing led to Buzzards scoring their final try. Final score Abingdon U17 – 0 v Buzzards U17 – 38