Harbury Pack a Resolute Force

Harbury 27 - 3 Woodrush

Last Updated: Nov 13, 2013 09:07am
Harbury, Stratford-on-Avon
By Jerry Birkbeck
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An outstanding victory for Midlands’s 4WS leaders Harbury against second placed Woodrush. In what was their hardest match to date this game was played at pace and was a tight physical contest between two well matched teams.

On this Vice Presidents Day the visitors were offered some excellent rugby with a very tight opening half. Harbury faced a dazzling sun throughout the first forty minutes of play. From the kick off Harbury moved the ball quickly but strong defence from the Woodrush backline denied them any early incursions. However, the Harbury pack was a resolute force and emphasised their control in set play and especially through their driving mauls. Nonetheless, it was Woodrush who opened the scoring. They had moved play into the hosts half and from quick won set ball their outside half kicked a prodigious 40 metre drop ball after just eight minutes of play.

Harbury, moved the game into the visitors 22 and from a rolling maul after a catch and drive through Bill French the rolling maul was stopped short of the goal line. Good possession from the ensuing scrum was moved out quickly but the final pass was dropped.

Minutes later a break from Harbury into the home 22 was well stopped and the loose ball was quickly picked up and passed to Woodrush’s pacy left wing. He took the ball past the home cover and a try seemed certain. Full back Mark Finch showed the commitment that is evident throughout the team when he took the winger into touch with an outstanding tackle.

Harbury were undaunted and used their expansive game and good support play to push deep into the Woodrush 22.  A scrum five was well won and the ball was moved deftly through Russ Clarke’s hand to Richard Mazurek who touched down wide out. The score was not added to. However, ten minutes later Harbury were awarded a penalty head onto the posts which Mazurek converted to put his side 8-3 ahead.

Woodrush came back from the restart and forced a scrum on the home 10 metre line and another long distance drop goal attempt went wide.  Harbury were then penalised for crossing in centre field and the penalty kick which was in the striking distance of the Wodrush kicker went wide. The half time score remaining at 8-3 to Harbury.

Harbury then took control of play in the opening quarter as they took play deep into the Woodrush 22 and from a well won line out quick bal to the backs was initially stopped.  It was though well recycled and the forwards drove hard to the line with flanker Luke Dunne forcing his way over for a well taken try. The conversion was missed but the home lead was extended to ten points.

Harbury fielded the restart well and moved the ball fluently with effective interpassing between forwards and backs. Another scrum just inside the Woodrush 22 produced good ball fro the backs and centre Daz Kittendorf choose a great line and taking the ball at pace he scythed through the cover to score beneath the posts. Mazurek converted to take the score to 20-3 with ten minutes remaining.

Another attacking scrum took play to within five metres of the goal line and another superb run by Kittendorf once more saw him through for his second try and a bonus point for his team.

In the final minutes it looked as if Kittendorf might get a third following a forceful run by Mark Foley, a quick pass found his centre in support but play was forced into touch and goal.

An excellent hard working display with each of the players in support of another throughout the match. Hendry Rheeders, as player coach set a fine example to his team and was well supported by all twenty in the squad who each contributed hugely to a fine and deserved win.

Harbury travel to Bromyard in Herefordshire to face an unknown quantity in the 3rd Round of the Junior Vase on Saturday.  This marks the start of a series of tough matches up to Christmas with a 1st Round Warwickshire Shield match at Manor Park to be fitted in over the next month.


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