All Whites Under 16s v Paignton – Fishermen’s Cup

12th October 2022

After a hard fought victory against Torquay the under 16s met a much improved Paignton on Sunday for the top of the group clash. With only 20 available (out of a squad of 32) this was certainly going to be challenging.

Newton started the game in a business-like manner going through the phases but lacked a certain amount of intensity and, as a result let Paignton disrupt the breakdown and collision areas which resulted in some soft turnovers and some frustrating errors.

As the game progressed we grew in accuracy and energy with ball carriers being supported, backs choosing good lines of running and dents being put in a good Paignton defense. Harrison at outside centre ran hard for two well worked tries put into space by the silky skills of his partner in crime, inside centre Louis.

Success at the line-out with Newton winning all of their own balls and some of Paignton’s, led by basketball-playing Ed (a recruitment concept I notice Saracens have adopted…obviously been watching us) as well as the ever present Ben Rusden. The props Hugo, Dan and Ayden also supporting the jumpers, propelling them high into the air as well as the dart like accuracy of the throw-ins from Ben Smale.

The second half saw Newton move up another gear with the injection of Ryan and Theo in the pack. Some lovely flowing moves started from quick delivery from our scrum-half Woody, who is growing in confidence and providing quick service on our ball and being a nuisance on their ball (traits in a 9 we like) and Noah (alternating between 9 and 10) getting the back line moving.

Our back row started dominating the breakdown with Henry Gas getting over the ball to win the turnovers and Henry Gilbert and Harvey running the hard yards. Ben Rogers could be found in the darkest of dark places doing the unseen Richard Hill-esque damage that every good blindside flanker should.

Each one of our back three put in great shifts, Raff starting to realise he can’t do it all and putting in a great defensive effort and excellent support play, Claude as fearless as always and safe under the high ball, Tom looking more and more the finished article with good attacking runs and solid defense and Arthur playing out of position but getting fully involved.

Two more tries came in the second half from Henry Gas and Ben Smale and the game was won 22-0. Harrison unfortunately took a nasty knock to his leg. Luckily nothing broken and we look forward to a speedy recovery and welcoming him back soon.

Certainly not a perfect performance, a lot to work on but we top our pool and look forward to the next round.

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