GMS Player Registration16th October 2023
Dear all Please ask all players/guardians to ensure they are registered on the RFU GMS site. Players who are not affiliated can’t play in cup…
So the time had come to test the squad against familiar foe in the U18 National Cup. The boys knew that they had what it took physically to overwhelm the Ivybridge Colts this time, but could they sustain it? The next frenzied 80 mins would tell.
From the off, Ivy showed knock-out rugby intent with a converted penalty to take 3-0 lead from their solid kicking no.9. The All Whites proved they had intent too. From the back of a scrum in the Ivy 22, a dummy to Jed followed by a crashing straight line from Toby P in the centres darted through under the posts: 3-7. The pace of the game was now set, Ivy rapidly advancing up pitch and slotting a penalty into the 5 meter zone which they took and drove for classic driving maul, converted. 10-7. Off the restart the All Whites pinned their opposition in their own 22 with driving runs from Juniper and Hodges which resulted in this week’s boring try, sadly too wide for the conversion. 10-12. After some settling play midfield, it was a penalty to Ivybridge that put the Newton Abbot whitewash at risk. The 5 meter line out was successfully defended and their backs made a rare handling error to put the ball on the ground. However, an unluckily failed fly hack from Newton was gathered by Ivybridge, who wove through the chaotic traffic to dot down under the posts. 17-12. In what was an emerging pattern, the restart created lots of highly physical pressure from Newton Abbot who managed to fall foul of the ref, handing Ivybridge an easy exit. Pressure was maintained from the Whites, though, who were not making it easy at all, with ferocious tackles going in midfield to slow the usually slick Ivybridge backs and keeping the visitors at bay. But another penalty to Ivy within range of their faultless kicker brought it to 20-12.
The following passage kept play swinging to and fro between the 22s. Charging runs of both backs and forwards on both sides failing to break each other’s defences. Opportunity for Newton came as Ivybridge was caught offside and Ash G pushed right into the corner with his penalty kick. Izaak Evans bruised his way through defenders and looked set to set up a good platform for another All Wite score only to be turned over and the ball cleared from the penalty for holding on. Even though Ivybridge managed good territory they lost possession in the lineout for knocking it on and Newton ran it back with Cally W chewing up the ground one giant stride at a time. Yet sadly the visit to the Ivy 22 failed to yield results once more as the ref, again, looked to penalise and Ivybridge clear all the advances made. They converted the score that came from fast and wide full-width running which frustratingly always resulted in an overlap. 27-12 Half time.
The second half started at the same level of intensity. Ivy advancing to within 10 meters for Newton to defend and scramble a clearance kick from Cally at fullback, for Ivy only to kick back and reapply the pressure. But the ref blew again for a high tackle and gave Ivybridge a chance at goal which they took 30 -12. To compound the impact of the climbing penalty count, the ref yellow carded Luca not for his high tackle rather the number of infringements. Down to 14, Newton Abbot were to concede the first try of the half as holes in their defence appeared. 37-12.
The Colts are a passionate bunch and run best when really fired up. Time for front running talisman EJ to lead the charge. Momentum shifted after a high tackle from Ivybridge gave Ash G the chance to set up the line out in the corner. Caught, gathered and driven over the line with enraged grunt, the score came, but the conversion didn’t. 37-17. The restart saw a classic charge from EJ, scattering Ivybridge like pigeons as he chewed up 40 yards before off-loading to Jed who took it tantalisingly close to the line. Recycling phase after phase, the Colts were so desperate to convert this visit to the Ivy 22 that there was only going to be one outcome; a penalty to Ivybridge who cleared their line and went on to quickly convert their visit inside the 22 with a push over try within range of their kicker. 44-17.
The win seemed over the horizon as another Ivybridge penalty gave them territory, which they clinically converted through speed, hands and another overlap. 49-17. Somewhere from deep in the bellies of 15 white clad men came the resolve to continue to give as good as they got, and that passion fought back. Recycling and ball retention sped up through the phases as wave after wave of white drove up field through forward pod and crashing centre. This frustrated Ivybridge and forced them into unusually flustered errors. A high tackle and backchat from them handed Newton 20 yards inside their 22 and EJ opted to unleash the beast. Two phases he and Jed battered and wiggled over close enough to the posts for Ash to slot the extras 49-24. Full of fight for pride, Albert gathered the restart and set the final passage in motion. Despite Ivybridge threatening with a close-range scrum the defence held and Milo raced out of the danger zone to link with the pack who defended the ball until Ivybridge were pinged for diving off feet in the ruck. Ash kicked for length but missed, Ivy started the familiar run out though their back but made one final error, the dropped ball kicked through by Jed who gathered it on the bobble to draw last blood. Ash collected the extras to pull it to 49-31, which is the way it stayed.