The U13’s headed to Rainey Endowed for their second away game of the season. With a few changes in key positions the boys took to the pitch in good conditions against a much larger and clearly well drilled opposition.
Right from the off and after the first few exchanges it was clear that this was going to be a very physical encounter. After a frantic 1min and 40 secs ERGS won Their ruck and with a quick pop pass from Hamill to Love, Love spotted the gap, opened the legs and ran powerfully to touch down under the posts. Points were added by Hamill. The game then ebbed and flowed for a while as both teams fought hard to win the physical up front battle. Rucking was hard and fast for the next 10 mins with ERGS trying hard to place some pattern on the game. However repeated penalties interrupted their plans and they made hard work of things. Elliott from fullback and Harte on the wing made a couple of great carries however the well organised Rainey defence held firm. After a mix up in the middle of the park after yet another ERGS penalty Rainey spread the ball wide and scored a well worked try out wide through their dangerous winger. Conversion was missed. The speed of the game was impressive and what followed was best described as a battle of wills with neither side really in the ascendency. The ERGS team showed again how good their defence was with Captain Bothwell and outside centre Carothers continually putting their opposite numbers under sustained pressure. Hetherington, Seaman and Courtney in for the injured Graham at openside all did well in the tackle and Smyton and the aggressive running of pack leader Clarke kept Rainey at bay. An ERGS scrum was well won and a quick ball called by Love seen a repeat of the first try. Hamill popped to a flying Love who with confidence powered through several tackles to score his second of the game. Again Hamill added the points. Half time lead of 14-5 to ERGS.
The second half seen some ERGS changes at fullback, wing, number 8 and front row. The half started with ERGS again mounting up the penalty count which placed them under sustained pressure. Rainey pushed hard for 10 mins encamping ERGS in their own 22. Good clearance kicks by Love and Hamill relieved the pressure somewhat and continued excellent line speed and tackling just about held Rainey out. From a tap penalty Rainey launched their huge number 8 who burst through but was bravely held up by Love. ERGS again made some changes with the loss of their hard working captain Bothwell and the hard hitting Seaman through injury. The reshuffling did unsettle ERGS and through a lost ball in the tackle Rainey capitalised and scored another good try out wide. The conversion was missed. ERGS then flicked a switch and their better fitness started to show. Strong running from Clarke and a storming run from the irrepressible Smyton made great ground to put Rainey under the first bit of pressure of the second half. From a scrum, a prescribed move was instigated and Aiken picked up and showed his determination to score a good solo try. The conversion was narrowly missed. With the second half coming to a close ERGS were showing their fitness and dominance and the confidence was growing with the phases starting to happen. Courtney who had a good game, backed himself and made a good direct run, he set the ball nicely and with a super fast ruck Hamill was able to get quick ball to Love who passed to Carrothers who made a superb run into space to score a lovely and very well deserved try out wide which demonstrated what this team are capable of. Hamill let the conversion slip wide.
Final score 24-10. This was a spirited performance from a team that is improving every week. Rainey provided tough, physical opposition but the ERGS boys stuck to the task in hand and again every squad member played an important role. Great stuff.