Haywards Heath RFC Under 14s played their first league game of the season away at Heathfield & Waldron on a bright but cold morning in conditions perfect for running rugby.
With a host of early season friendly victories behind them, the reigning County league and cup champions were keen to show that they could step up on last season’s performances and set their stall out to showcase their exciting style of rugby. They did not disappoint.
Within a minute of Heathfield kicking off Heath were on the board with fast hands and straight running from the backs creating space for winger Owen Ratcliffe to score his first try of the day. Minutes after the restart Heath were back on the scoresheet with a carbon copy of the first try to take a 10-0 lead. The Heath pack was outstanding providing a ready supply of quick ball for the backs to show their skills with the ball in hand and, after a number of phases helped by great support play, Henry Duffield finished off a good team try. Ratcliffe hit the extras for a 17-0 lead after 15 minutes. There was to be no let up for the home side and Heath were rampant with further tries in the half for full back Hugo Cordeschi and centre Frazer Lawson meaning a half time lead of 29 -0 and the try bonus point secured.
At the break coach Clive Thomas rung the changes off the bench with the seven substitutes all coming on to show the Heath strength in depth. Further dynamic running by the entire team led to a second try for Lawson and a third for Ratcliffe, both of which were converted for a 43-0 lead after 5 minutes of the second half. Even with a change in positions and personnel the Heath U14s kept driving forward as a team, scoring another couple of tries this time for second row Barney Van-Hoeken and Cordeschi again, meaning the score had ticked onto 57-0 with 10 minutes remaining.
A consolation try for Heathfield after some good work by their forwards knocked any complacency out of Heath and they wrapped up the game scoring two more high quality tries in the process. Cordeschi scored his third and converted it and Dylan Thomas crashed over in the corner to round things off. A 69-5 win in their first competitive match of the season was very satisfying with the teamwork and support play by all boys on the park providing a very good platform for next week’s home game against old rivals Chichester.
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