Burgess Hill RFC the Sussex All Blacks hosted Park House in the league last Saturday.
After a very narrow loss to Pulborough in their last league encounter the Men in Black felt confident they were going to secure their first league win of the season.
The conditions were horrendous with sideways rain and a very wet pitch. Playing in an alternative jersey due to a clash the All Blacks showed their metal from the off. Park House dropped the kick off and at the scrum the much smaller All Black pack drove their counterparts backwards before the ball was hurriedly cleared by Park.
The All Blacks dominated the first 20 mins using their forward runners and half backs to make in roads into the Park half. The conditions were the Men in Blacks downfall as they struggled to keep their feet and composure as the pitch cut up. After 20 mins, Hill were awarded a penalty on the Park 22 which fly half Rhys Clarke slotted for a 3-0 lead.
The Al Blacks then took their foot of the pedal and Park made some forays into the Hill half for the first time in the game. Following a couple of rucks close to the Hill line the ball was spun wide. The defence looked to have it covered however a slip in midfield on the lose ground resulted in the winger diving into the corner for the unconverted score 3-5.
The half ended with the All Blacks back in the ascendency however all they had to show for it was a missed penalty.
The Black pack dominated the second half with the back row of Adam Rez, Connor Chatfield and Dave Wattam carrying time and time again. At the scrum Park were losing 70% of their ball as they were driven back and off their own ball.
Despite their dominance the backs were struggling to finish off the hard work of the forwards due to the quagmire pitch. Perhaps more territorial game would have suited the conditions. Scrum half Sam David did almost score following a kick over the top however his grubber through just went dead before he dotted it down.
Despite the one sided nature it was Park who scored next following a controversial penalty for holding on 30 metres out. The cool, calm and collected Park full back slotted the penalty to extend their lead 3-8.
The All Blacks responded pounding the Park line and following a penalty centre Jordan Sayers stepped up to slot the goal, 6-8. At this point Park went to uncontested scrums and down to 14 men.
The onslaught continued with 5 minutes on the clock. After a series of forward carries, George Yeates now playing scrum half picked up at the base of the ruck dragging defenders with him before passing inside to Rezzy who jogged in untouched under the posts. Sayers added the extras for a 13-8 lead. The Sussex All Blacks dominated this game and will be pleased with the win. If the conditions had been better a bigger score line would have been achieved.
MoM went to Jordan Sayers who carried well and kicked his points.
Next week the All Blacks travel to Uckfield and are looking for another Win.
With 3 senior sides out last Saturday including 20 return to Rugby recruits the Sussex All Blacks are going from strength to strength. Anyone wishing to join this progressive family club should contact Director of Rugby Ross Hallifax on 07941 016836 / firstname.lastname@example.org
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