"Focus on momentum not perfection"
By James Grey
Hellingly RFC extend the club's unbeaten start to 3 matches by recording a hard-fought 24-34 victory over Seaford, away from home.
The match kicked off in almost perfect conditions, as the sunshine beamed down on Seaford RFC.
There were a few chances in the opening quarter of an hour, as the Hellingly pack were able to provide quick ball for backs. We continued to dominate the scrum and lineout's, just as we have done all season to date, so it was not long before we were rewarded for our dominance and Tom stone was crossing the whitewash for his 4th try of the season.
Collecting the ball well from the restart, we forced ourselves back into Seaford's half, quickly finding ourselves 5 metres from the try line and Matthew Sands being illegally tip tackled. As I contemplated the decision to go for a scrum, knowing the pack had Seaford rattled, Mark Harris observing the space whispered in Dave Searle's ear for a quick tap penalty. This proved the right decision, as Mark Harris forced himself over the try line, seeing the referee raise his arm and award us with the second try of the game.
At 0-10, viewers may have felt this was going to be a comfortable win for the team in black and gold. Unfortunately, history was to repeat itself and Seaford showed AGAIN that they are a team to come back fighting and make life difficult for us. In fact, for the remainder of the half, Hellingly had very little ball at all. Credit to Seaford, they are experts in the pic and go game, sucking in defenders and make good use of their asset at 13. Add in a clever kicking game, keeping us pinned in our own 10 metres, we soon found ourselves conceding 2 tries before half time.
Hellingly remained confident that the game would be won. We just needed to get back to the basics, use our scrum and lineout dominance and play to the strategy we have worked so hard on in training. Fortunately, this is exactly what happened and Hellingly were able to pull away with 4 very well worked tries.
The first try came via Dan Halls, finishing off a well executed line out, the second from Scott Monk, showing the importance of support play and the third from Sam Booth, who was able to collect a chipped kick from Matthew Sands and majestically dodge onward traffic and put the ball down unscathed. The final try of the game was for Jack Cowell. Here our Player of the Match Tom Stone chased down their winger, put in a big tackle, got up, stole the ball and with an opportunity to score himself, made the decision to guarantee the try, drawing the man and putting Jack away to run in under the posts. This final act was enough to beat Seaford and prevent them from being able to catch us, despite their score in the final seconds of the game.
It was not the perfect performance and we will look forward to training on Tuesday, so we can work on a few key areas of our game. However, winning is a habit and we are building momentum this season. With 14 of the 15 points available collected already this season, we will certainly take confidence going into our game versus Uckfield next week.
Tom Stone x 1
Mark Harris x 1
Dan Halls x 1
Scott Monk x 1
Sam Booth x 1
Jack Cowell X 1
Searle x 2
Man of the match: Tom Stone.
D of the day: Tom Stone (for cutting himself shaving his legs).