Superb Lewis try helps Burgess Hill record win over Crawley
Last Saturday the Sussex All Blacks hosted Crawley in their second game back following lockdown.
The men in black had a squad of 32 for the occasion and now have used 40 different players in the last two games.
This was Crawley’s first game back after the lockdown and they equally brought a large squad with the game being played over quarters under RFU Covid-safe adapted laws.
The men in black benefited from having a game last week as they quickly came out of the blocks whereas Crawley looked like they had not played for four months, which was the case.
The first quarter resulted in a try following a well worked move at a lineout. From ten metres out hooker Andy Mackay sprinted up the touch line to dive into the corner for the unconverted score, 5-0.
The All Blacks changed their entire team in the second quarter whereas Crawley opted to stay with a largely unchanged team.
The next 20 minutes saw some pulsating rugby from the men in black as they dominated every facet of play, scoring four unconverted tries in the process to make it 25-0.
Full back George Yeates grabbed a brace, diving into the left hand corner for both, teenage winger Rory Shillaker showed great feet and speed to score into the right hand corner and Jim Waqanibau dotted down in the corner with the last play of the quarter.
In the second half Crawley made their changes and immediately put the All Blacks under pressure, using their powerful forwards to carry before looking to release their electric back three.
But the All Blacks showed tremendous defence and the tackles going in were ferocious as they looked to turn defence into attack.
Adam Rez, Chris Robson-Close, Christian Jones and Harvey Hays racked up the tackle count during this third quarter.
And with less than a couple of minutes left of the quarter, John Rainima pressed the Crawley line and took an interception before sprinting down the hill.
With the Crawley speedsters chasing hard, he put in a cross field kick to the All Black support where winger Matheus Gava batted the ball back into Robson-Close’s arms where he drew the last defender and played in fly half Olly Lewis who swanned dived into the corner.
The crowd went wild having witnessed one of the best tries scored at Poveys Close.
In the last quarter Crawley once more pressed for the score and the All Blacks once more turned turnover ball into chances with the front row putting in chip and chases, and forwards and backs showing tremendous offloading skills.
Hooker Ben Dewey and prop Lee Collingbourne both went agonisingly close before Bucks went over in the corner for the final score.
The result, and more importantly the performance, was top draw as the men in black adapted to the new Covid-safe laws.
The All Blacks are next in action vs the Fire Service this coming weekend.
If anyone would like to come and join the Sussex All Blacks, please contact director of rugby, Ross Hallifax on [email protected]
With two senior teams, a women’s team, a walking rugby team and full minis and juniors there is a home for everyone.