Burgess Hill 57, Eastbourne 14: All Blacks click into gear to hammer Blue and Golds

Action from Saturday's match. Picture by Steve Blanthorn
Action from Saturday's match. Picture by Steve Blanthorn

Last Saturday the Sussex All Blacks hosted Eastbourne in the league.

The All Blacks came into this game off the back of two close defeats whereas Eastbourne who had come down from the league above this season had put 70 past Ditchling the week before.

Action from Saturday's match. Picture by Steve Blanthorn

Action from Saturday's match. Picture by Steve Blanthorn

The All Blacks were pleased to welcome back four players who had missed the first two games however due to injury and absentees they were forced into making seven changes from the week before.

The first 15 minutes belonged to Eastbourne who came out of the blocks hard using their large rangey pack to create holes before releasing their skillful half backs.

The first score came off a mix up in defence when two Hill players took the same man leaving an overlap which was exploited for the converted score. During this passage of play, winger Liam Hopwood picked up a shoulder injury and Owain Jenkins (OJ) came onto the field of play.

Despite the one way traffic, the All Blacks were exerting themselves at the scrum and lineout lead by captain and No.8 Dave Wattam.

At an Eastbourne scrum just inside the All Blacks half the black pack put on the squeeze. The Bourne no.8 picked up under pressure and All Blacks scrum half Bone Matemosi ripped the ball off him and powered forward. The ball was spun out by Wattsy to fly half Dave Tyrrell who cut a fine line scything open the defence. Tyrrell sprinted on before passing inside to OJ who danced around the full back before scoring under the posts. Tyrrell added the extras 7-7.

The All Blacks now had their tails up and began to assert themselves. Prop Lee Collingbourne was having a field day popping up in the centres where he punched deep holes in the Bourne defence.

One such burst saw Bourne kill the ball which Tyrrell converted 10-7.

The centre pairing of Dave Daly and John Rainima were now showing their skills creating gaps before releasing their pacey back 3. One such move saw OJ come of his wing where he ran across the field before switching with full back George Yeates. Yeates showed some dancing feet before reaching for the line in the right corner. Tyrrell narrowly missed the extras, 15-7.

The next score came from some direct play by the forwards with the second row pairing of Adam Rez and Simon Eyre getting through a ton of work.

The ball was spun wide where Tyrrell looped Rainima before releasing Daly who scored in the corner. Tyrrell picked the wrong club for his conversion attempt to end the half 20-7 to the men in Black.

The halftime talk was to keep playing as we were. Unfortunately for the All Blacks the half time rollocking that the Eastbourne players got worked.

Following an Eastbourne lineout the Bourne 10 showed tremendous individual skill and pace as he dummied, hitch kicked, stepped, swerved and sprinted under the posts from 35 metres out for the converted score 20-14.

The All Blacks came straight back at Eastbourne winning a penalty that Tyrrell converted 23-14.

From the restart the All Blacks showed their power game with Rez, Collingbourne, Wattam and Eyre punching holes. Following one such drive the ball was spun wide where winger Mike Jennings stepped his winger and crashed over the top of the fullback for the unconverted score in the corner, 28-14.

It was now one way traffic with the All Blacks pack and backs combining. Following a scrum on the 22, Tyrrell switched with Daly who drove towards the line before popping off to Wattam to score. Tyrrell added the extras to further the lead to 35-14.

The next score was a joy to behold where three heavies found themselves in the wide channel. First of all Eyre went through the defence and passed ro Collingbourne who drew the full back sending in replacement hooker Dave McComiskey for the try, just 9 years since his last first team score. Tyrrell kept true to form and missed, 40-14.

The next try typified the interplay as flanker Andy Mackay popped up in midfield and raced towards the line before flicking an offload in the tackle to Rainima who raced in under the sticks. As Tyrrell approached the kicking tee the ball fell over which he scooped up and drop kicked over, 47-14.

OJ added his second score as another bust in midfield saw Eyre rampaging towards the line before passing outside to Jenkins to dot down. Tyrrell was now sympathetic to Bourne and missed, 52-14.

The final score of the game came following a dominate All Blacks scrum on the Bourne 10 metre line. As the push came on, Wattam picked and ran outside the Bourne 10 felling him with a handoff before sprinting in next to the sticks. Tyrrell was now master at missing sitters and the game ended 57-14.

The All Blacks had many contenders for MoM however the accolade of Ridgeview Wine Estate MoM winning a bottle of English Sparkling wine was scrum half Bone Matemosi who marshalled his troops and kept the tempo going all afternoon.

Next week the All Blacks host Ditchling in a reverse fixture as their new pitch is awaiting sign off.