Last Saturday the Sussex All Blacks hosted Uckfield in the league.
Having only lost once this season and based on previous fixtures between the All Blacks and Uckfield everyone knew this was going to be a tough fixture.
The All Blacks made the customary 7 changes to their squad from the previous game with their injury list now up to 15 after just 4 rounds of the league. Back in the squad was flanker Connor Chatfield who had returned from the Spartan Race European and World Championships where finished 4th in his age group.
The All Blacks started the game slowly giving Uckfield the upper hand. After a break in midfield by the large Uckfield outside centre the All Blacks killed the ball. The very useful Uckfield fly half slotted the penalty for a 0-3 lead.
The All Blacks came back at Uckfield using their powerful forward runners to punch holes in the acorns defence. The front row of Jon Phillpot, Dave McComiskey and Paul Hasib got through a ton of work during this period.
Deapite the total dominance the All Blacks kept forcing the last pass in very greasy conditions giving Uckfield a get out of jail free card time and time again.
With 10 minutes left on the clock the backs began to show what they could do. Scrum half Bone Matemosi fed the ball out to fly half Tyrrell who miss passed to centre John Rainima who in turn passed to teenage winger Mathues Gava. Gava showed a great pair of heels and sprinted into the corner for the try. Tyrrell missed the touchline conversion, 5-3.
This score was followed up 10 minutes later with an almost instant replay where again aftet great work by the black pack the ball was spun wide where this time full back OJ, gave the final pass to Gava who put on the afterburners to score in the corner. Tyrrell kept true to form, 10-3.
At half time the All Blacks brought on Chatfield at flanker and new back three player Lawrence Daraio at full back with OJ switching to fly half for the injured Tyrrell.
Uckfield decided to test out the new man putting an air raid of bombs to test his metal. Lucky for the All Blacks Daraio collected them with ease and showed a clean pair of heels returning every kick with interest.
One such bomb was collected by Daraio who passed to OJ who in turn passed to centre Dave Daly who raced up the park. Daly off loaded back to OJ who 5 metres from the line passed to Daraio who dotted down for his debut score. OJ took over kicking duties and missed, 15-3.
The lineout was back to its best with McComiskey showing Phil “the Power” Taylor accuracy.
One such lineout saw captain and No.8 Dave Wattam crash the ball up where at the ruck a series of forward drives saw Chatfield pick up and drive through 2 players to score the bonus point try. OJ donned the blindfold and missed the conversion 20-3.
The next score came from tenacious All Black defence. From an Uckfield lineout the Acorns took the ball on and a ruck was set up. As the ball was passed back to the Uckfield fly half, flankers Lewis Strong and Connor Chatfield came out of thr traps like a pair of greyhounds. Strong managed to get a paw on the kick which resulted in the ball going loose in the try area. Chatfield who is not one to stare a gift horse in the mouth dotted down for his second score. OJ tested the wind, lie of the tee and other pointless conditions before once again missing, 25-3.
The final score was well executed when from a dominant All Blacks scrum inside the Uckfield 22, Wattam picked up and passed to Bone who in turn passed to OJ who flicked the ball onto Gava who stepped and fended off his opposite man before scoring in the corner. The referee didn’t bother waiting to see if OJ would miss the conversion. Final score Burgess Hill 30, Uckfield 3 which is the biggest win the All Blacks have had over Uckfield for many a year.
The Ridgeview wine estate Man of the Match was jointly won by winger Mathues Gava and hooker Dave McComiskey who both win a bottle of English fizz.
The All Blacks now have a week off after getting a bye in the first round of the National Cup. They are next back in action on the 21/10 vs Barns Green in the league at home KO 3pm.