Last Saturday Burgess Hill travelled to Aylesford Bulls in the league. Having lost by 12-40 at home the Sussex All Blacks knew they had a stern test ahead of them on the road.
As the teams walked out it was a case of David vs Goliath with the Bulls pack have 4 inches and 2 stone a man on the black pack.
The Bulls started at a canter and battered into the All Blacks defence using their large pack with their No.8 carrying time and time again. When they did use the ball the Bulls fly half used his mercurial boot to make territory regularly kicking 50-60 metres.
One such kick over the top was executed brilliantly as the Bulls fly half spotted the All Blacks winger at the Base of the ruck. The Bulls wingers who had pace to burn chased the ball hard and following a kind hack through the left winger dotted down for the score.
The Bulls next score came from good hands and direct running which saw their full back end up with the ball before galloping in under the posts for the converted score 12-0.
The All Blacks woke up at this point and the pack began to take on their monstrous opponents pushing them back at the lineout and scrum. In the backs scrum half George Yeates, winger Lewis O’Shea and full back Owain Jenkins (OJ) were also making good ground with ball in hand.
When the Bulls did get possession the Flanker of Connor Chatfield and Christian Jones were driving their opponents back in the tackle. One such tackle lead to a penalty near the half way line. OJ stepped up and narrowly missed the 40+ metre kick.
At a dominate scrum that looked to be going all the way to the line the Bulls killed the ball. OJ took the penalty to get on the board 12-3.
The All Blacks continued to dominate the end of the first half with OJ going close with a drop goal attempt.
The start of the second half was frantic with both teams having their fare share of possession.
The next score came after 10 mins as the giant Bulls No.8 went through a gap in midfield before offloading to his back row compadre who scored near the posts for the converted score 19-3.
This score woke up the All Blacks and they took the game to the Bulls. After battering the Bulls line for 10 minutes the ball was spun out where OJ through a 15 metre miss pass to winger O’Shea who crashed into the corner for the uncovered score 19-8.
Both teams then used their benches. The Bulls reacted quickest as their new centre showed a clean pair heels before looping with his winger to score an unconverted try in the corner 24-8.
Colt back row Joe Turner who is a dead ringer for Rodney Trotter came on and had a cosmic last 15 minutes showing triffic tackling and groovy runs with ball in hand.
Just like the first half it the All Blacks through the kitchen sink at the Bulls. Yeates, OJ and second rows Adam Rez and Tim Daniel got through some work in this period.
A clearance kick with 5 mins to go by the Bulls was collected on the half way line by Yeates who dummies, swerved, side stepped and fended off 5 players before scoring in the corner. OJ narrowly missed the conversion.
The All Blacks continued to batter the Bulls line for the last few minutes but could not get the losing bonus point score.
The All Blacks were pleased with the performance against their illustrious opponents but were distraught they had not taken anything from the game. MoM went to Yeates who was electric.
The next 4 games are massively important for the All Blacks future in LSE3 and they are making sure everything is in place to get the results they need starting with Pulborough at home this Saturday KO 2pm.
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