The Common was covered in fog creating an eerie backdrop to Southwold Colts home fixture against N Walsham the day after Halloween.
For the first time this season we had the luxury of a full bench. Despite this we only just had a front row with Ollie Simpson moving forward from his usual flanker role to hook. Indeed it was Ollie’s 30m break that broke the initial deadlock. This lead to a skirmish on their line and Konnor Pettingill’s pick and go being held up. The resulting scrum saw Matt Sutton run in under the posts virtually unopposed. A few minutes later after a few rucks and some good passing Ruben Voght went over in the corner for the first of his tries. Hugo Wells-Baker then powered over the line for the first of his tries.
Three tries in quick succession suggested that we could clock-up a big score but to N Walsham’s credit they came back strongly at the end of the half. the Southwold defence and discipline was tested to the full with some try saving tackles from Josh Wallis and James Scarle out wide and a few big hits from Morgan Hardy and Sherard Block in the middle of the park. Our discipline let us down a few times and N Walsham, when in range, chose to kick the penalty. Our only clear break during this period was when Ollie stole a lineout and Jobe Brooks ran 60 meters only to be pulled down a meter short!
The score at half time was 17- 3.
N Walsham had another kickable penalty at the start of the second half which they took. Moments later Jake Loader poached loose ball from a N Walsham scrum in their own 22 and very nearly reached the line but the Hulk, Hugo, was on hand to thunder through for his second. Then N Walsham came back with a try of their own under the posts. It was at this point that the Southwold forwards, who had been rucking well all day, started to run some pods and pick and goes which had the desired effect.
Mid way through the second period, after sustained pressure, Ben Felton stepped and dummied to run in a try, shortly followed by a well deserved one from Josh Wallis. James Scarle then ran a fantastic line with real pace inside their 22 but was thwarted by another notable try saving tackle. Finally, in the dying minutes, after a series of forays from the forwards, Morgan Hardy drew his man and unselfishly passed out to Ruben Voght for a simple try in the corner.
Final score 39-13.
The enthusiasm and commitment was palpable from both sides and everyone played their part in what was an engaging contest.
Southwold U13’s V Hadleigh Suffolk Plate
Southwold Under 13s journeyed through the fog to Hadleigh on Sunday to face much the same team they had played the previous weekend on Southwold Common.
The Wold decided to give their opponents too much respect in the first half and payed a heavy price conceding three unanswered tries with Hadleighs large centre making the most of some indifferent tackling. Towards the end of the half Southwold started to get to grips with the Hadleighs big lad and were gaining ascendancy in the forward battle
Some positional changes at half time strengthened the Southwold attack and with the forwards generating quick ruck ball spaces began to be found in the Hadleigh defence. Sam C. was the beneficiary of some nice interplay between the half backs and was able to cut through the Hadleigh line to score under the posts. Southwold quickly regained possession at the restart and Jamie C broke through the defence just inside the Hadleigh half to set off at a gallop for the line.
Southwold were now just one try behind Hadleigh at 21 -14 and were applying enormous pressure to level the score. Twice the boys came very close to scoring but the Hadleigh defence just held firm. With the final play of the game Hadleigh managed to gain possession on the Southwold 22 and again their large centre used his considerable strength and skill to force his way over the line. His celebration on scoring only underlined just how much pressure the Southwold team had been able to apply in the second half.
All in all a great game of rugby played in good spirits by both sides and the Wold faithful came away cheered by their teams performance.
Southwold U14’s win at Hadleigh 64-7
Southwold were away to Hadleigh in the first round of the Suffolk Plate.
As last week, this was a real team performance, the guys played for each other and the points rattled up as a result. It is impossible to mention everyone’s performances, but there were moments when every one of the squad did what the team needed and all played their part. The scrum was solid throughout, never taking a backward step. The lineout was secure and set up a platform for the backs to attack. The backs were just too powerful for the Hadleigh team, but you can’t score without the ball, so remember the saying, guys, “Your forwards win you the game, your backs decide by how much”. Whether your name is on the score-sheet or not, you can all take pride in a team win, you have played your part.
Full reports on the Southwold website.