Trojans U16's Chiefs v Havant 14th January 2018
Disappointing league defeat for the U16 Chiefs
Trojans Chiefs 14 Havant 33
The Chiefs lacked hunger and organisation in what was another disappointing league defeat. The match had some good moments but generally lacked quality and was played more as a friendly than a hard fought battle. With 7 county players on each side, and one of their coaches in attendance, at times it seemed more like a Hampshire training session. The goodwill between the two sides went too far on one occasion when Euan was kissed in the scrum by his opposite number! However, Havant had more urgency and desire and played better as a team so deserved to win their first and probably only league match of the season.
The day started badly when we lost Christian and Lewis to illness, so Warriors players and Dara Murray and Sam Page were drafted in. Despite reminders about keeping their defensive discipline, a series of three missed tackles allowed a Havant winger to open the scoring after 5 minutes. Soon after they scored again from a pick and go close to the Trojans goal line. Again the lack of defensive organisation and effective tackling made it too easy for Havant. The boys were 12 points down, but did respond well and threatened to score themselves. Josh missed a long range penalty, but made up for it with a couple of good kicks to touch in their 22. The forwards exerted pressure and were nearly rewarded when Fin H. burst on to a tap penalty only to be denied by a crunching tackle. The momentum was with Trojans and points finally came when Ash took a crash ball and charged over the line for a well deserved try. Josh converted and hopes were raised that the Chiefs would take control of the game. Instead, the boys switched off and Havant scored a decisive try just on half-time to make the score 7-19.
Trojans did compete better in the second half, with flankers Linton and Fin W. continuing to work their socks off. However, the attacking organisation was little better than that in defence. It was a little one dimensional and a return to the days of give the ball to Ash and watch him plough through the opposition. To be fair to Ash, he has been playing exceptionally well this season, but that doesn't make him a one man team. In the backs, Phil was looking dangerous and got his team back into the match with an excellent kick behind their defence. He collected the ball to score the try. Josh converted to make the score a more respectable 14-19. The boys were passing the ball around with more confidence, highlighted with a perfectly executed switch between the two props, Thomas and Ash. The backs were tackling better, drifting across to cut out the danger, with Matt making some excellent cover tackles. Unfortunately, Havant were getting the edge in the scrum. The pressure caused Thomas's knee injury to flare up and he was replaced by Sam, who found himself a little out of his depth. Holden briefly replaced Linton but was taken off with a shoulder injury. It was Havant's forward dominance that allowed them to score two close range tries in the latter stages of the game to seal the win. Phil was awarded Man of the Match.
Both teams are now set to play in the Plate semi-finals after their remaining league matches. The target for the Chiefs must now be to win this competition.