A howling gale and rain, a little different to recent playing conditions, this was going to be a tight game, about will to win, hard defence and taking advantage of any opening.
Hunts started well, retaining the ball for the first few minutes and showing their impressive break down skills. Walden had to work hard to keep them from progressing downfield but they did with some strong defence. This really set the pattern for the whole game, there was quite a bit of turnover and Hunts were very keen to pick and go so our forwards had to work hard throughout the game to contain ant hunts attacks. When Walden did get the ball we started to look after it very well, winning opposition line out and driving forward. Hunts were also tackling strongly. After a multi phase advance Hugo managed to wrestle through three tackles to score, eight minutes in and a good confidence boost. It remained edgy the odd break being squandered with some errors. Then a bust up the right, Alex Benn getting ever so close to the line but calmly offloading with Ryan benefitting and going over in the corner. 10-0 and so it remained, Hunts finishing the half on the Walden line. Ale had kicked well when required, gaining some much needed metres, wind assisted!
In the second half the wind was against us so options were limited. We knew their game plan and what to do, we also knew they were really up for it and 10 points was a slim margin. Walden built a good platform for attack shifted the ball wide which ended up in Luke's hands. He showed a piece of deft skill we had never seen before, even shocking his father, as he grubbed the ball through the defence from about 10m out, powered past the 3 Hunts people close by to dive on the ball. Outstanding! Back to business and hard work. Hunts raised their game and started to put us under huge pressure, this game was by no means over. They came close a few times, Walden's tackling was ferocious. however, the penalty count was building, Axel taking a yellow for the team count of penalties. Ming had a yellow for three penalties so down to 13. Ming back on and Harry VW came on but in less than a minute had a yellow! shocker! Hunts scored to make it 15-5 with 5 to go. Walden regained the ball from the restart and worked up the field for Hugo to power over a brilliant set of phases from the forwards, Jack making life hell for the tired defence. And so it ended, 20-5 to Walden.
Josh was immense, his tackle count off the scale but he was so quick back to his feet and in the game. Luke was outstanding and Hugo so canny at picking the moments for key tackles and carries, all the back row were outstanding. Our scrum and line out was rock solid, Owen played the best we have ever seen, he was awesome. All the forwards were immense.
In the backs, Tom tackled like a monster, Morgan tackled more that we have ever seen and protected the ball so well. Fraser was a rock in defence and attack. Alex defended really well and made good decisions at 10. Oisin made great yards and key tackles. Harry was a rock at 15, ever reliable and setting up the counter attack so well. All the subs were superb, K did a super job even after a whack on the nose within 30 seconds of being on the pitch!
We are immensely proud of you lads, you played with top quality basic skills and lion hearts. Well done, you are all amazing.