Old Haberdashers’ 10 Brentwood 20 (London & South East Division: North 1) 20th January 2018
Brentwood go top after a strong second half performance
Brentwood travelled to Hertfordshire on a cold, rainy day on Saturday, the pitch was sodden in places but the game got the go ahead.
The visitors kick off into the wind with the rain pouring down, it was obvious that the pitch conditions would deteriorate as the game went on so Brentwood tried to make the most of the best conditions. Playing with their usual pace and strength they looked to expose any gaps by moving the ball wide as soon as possible. This tactic created a number of chances but only one was taken. A Burr grubber kick behind the defense was kick forward by Chambers and Tom Simpson won the foot race to touch down after 10 minutes. Simpson could have doubled his tally a few minutes later after being put clear by Chay Pollinger after he had created space with a neat sidestep, the ball slipped from his grasp just as he was reaching for the line. Mistakes crept in and Old Habs scored a converted try under the posts to take the lead and extended it just before halftime with a penalty. Brentwood looked the stronger side but good home defense had kept them out. Halftime score Old Habs’ 10 5 Brentwood.
Brentwood changed their game plan in the second half as they had a slight wind at their backs and the pitch cutting up, Burr and Chambers putting kicks into the corner and trusting their defence to keep territory. The front 3 of Tijde Visser, Luke Tilly and Joel Bevans-Royston were outstanding in defence and attack making metres with virtually every touch. It was Bevans-Royston who scored from the back of a ruck after a nice Burr Crossfield kick that was take on the run by Alexander Wilson but held up just short. The conversion was missed but that brought the scores level with 15 minutes to go. With Paul Bradley and captain Ben Amato impressing in the closing stages it looked like the next score would go to the visitors. Burr nudged Brentwood ahead with a penalty on 70 minutes, this was followed by 10 minutes of pressure on the Old Habs’ line, Adam Thomas took three defenders with him over the line to score the third try and Burr converted to put the visitor’s 10 points clear. Looking for the bonus point try, Brentwood piled on the pressure for the final but couldn’t find it, the referee deciding that the ball was held up over the try line and the chance was gone.
Brentwood showed that they can change tactics mid match again to overcome strong opposition. This win put Brentwood top of the league on points difference as Colchester narrowly beat Chingford at home. A fantastic reward for a lot of hard work since the last defeat in September.
The Davlav Man of the Match went to Tijde Visser, powerful scrummaging and rampaging runs. A constant threat with the ball in hand. Brentwood host Letchworth next Saturday 27th January.
Brentwood Team: Visser, Tilly, Bevans-Royson, Bassenger, Killington, Amato, Whaley, Bradley, White, Burr, Pollinger, Thomas, Stannard, Simpson, Chambers Subs: Garnett,Aldous, Wilson