Despite the rain on the drive to Tunbridge Wells to play at Skinner’s school, the weather improved to be fairly good condition to play. The boys chose to play down hill first half and started well by applying territory pressure on TW, however their defence stood firm and despite several penalty opportunities to score 3 points the boys failed to come away with any points. This galvanised TW and they started to creep up the pitch applying pressure with well placed grubber kicks behind our back line which we failed to collect and thump down the field. Leo led by example with line speed and sent their big ball carriers home for an early shower, unfortunately this didn’t deter them.
The referee had warned the boys that any foul language would result in a yellow card, and with 6 minutes remaining of the first half Harry Taylor aired his frustration which resulted in a yellow and a converted try to go 7-0 down. Unfortunately John G and Ben B collided tackling the same player resulting in both boys receiving deep cuts on the heads and leaving the field of play for the rest of the game. The boys credit they reacted well and immediately went on the offensive and Patrick scored a try to go 7-5 down at half time.
The second half started well limiting TW to no further points whilst Harry was still off, which saw periods of play where tip and bingo were called and executed well making hard yards up the pitch. The condition were muddy under foot and with a greasy ball we unfortunately made more errors than TW forcing us back to our own 22. What proceeded then cost us the game with a couple of poor decisions where the ref missed blatant knock ons and forward passes and missed 1:1 tackles resulting in two unanswered scores which left OC 19-5 down.
The boys then showed great spirit and teamwork and gaining hard yards with pick and goes tight and tip balls culminating in George Hooper scoring in the top corner taking the score to 19-10! With 15 minutes remaining, OC demonstrated what can only be described as awesome defence for 10 minutes camped on our own try line, frustrating TW phase after phase. The referee showed a consistent approach and yellow carded a TW player for foul language which left only a few minutes of the game to go where no further points were scored.
Despite the loss there was plenty to be optimistic about with evidence of patterns of play from training being applied within the game. Both John G and Ben B are well after treatment in A & E for their cuts and will certainly look a lot tougher upon their return in 3 to 4 weeks.