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Aldeburgh v Halstead Templars

2nd December – Queen’s Field

Result: Aldeburgh 66 Halstead 8

Sparkling rugby in a cold climate

By God, it was cold! The sparkling rugby played by Aldeburgh warmed the hearts of the goodly crowd of spectators who braved the weather but it didn’t reach their toes. After the match, the Halstead captain congratulated Aldeburgh on a physical encounter ‘which makes rugby worth playing.’ What it is to be young and strong.

Aldeburgh welcomed back James Ledger at prop for his first game of the season. He was soon making his familiar driving runs in the loose. The team continues to be unsettled but with a regular spine which enables a consistent running playing style. Having Jed Gallant and Ed Robson at half back provides an experienced fulcrum around which the whole team can operate successfully. We also benefited from some visitors to add to the mix.

The crowd knew that we were in for some entertaining rugby when, after just a couple of minutes, centre Callum Goodwin arrived like a rocket onto a pop pass from scrum half Jed Gallant, broke straight through, fell over, rolled and set off again before finally being hauled down. Callum’s running and tackling was again outstanding throughout the match. He scored the fourth try and was influential throughout.

James Cook continued his return to rugby with a strong performance in the centre this week. He opened the scoring, running a good line to take a short pass to go over under the posts. Chris Outten is another who has returned to playing, using his physical presence and rugby nous to have an impact across the pitch. He also powered over for the third try.

The story of the match was one of total Aldeburgh dominance. 26-0 up after 20 minutes. After 25 minutes, Alex Cox, playing in the second row this week, had to leave the field injured. With no replacements available, it raised the question as to whether Halstead could make their one player advantage count. They got off to a bad start. Immediately after Alex’s departure, Ed Robson attempted a penalty from far out by the touchline which hit the post. Halstead made a hash of the clearance with the denouement being a clearing kick from behind the try line which went straight up in the air, landing next to an Aldeburgh player who simply had to fall on it to score. 31-0 was the half time score.

It was only two minutes into the second half when Aldeburgh scored their next try. Lewis Wardell-Bird, named Man of the Match for his unselfish work in the scrum and around the pitch, made a strong run before popping up a delightful pass for the full back to run onto and score.

Another highlight of the second half was one of Ed Robson’s long passes, this time to winger Adam Hateley who finished powerfully in the corner. Ed’s ability to see spaces and to execute the pass to open them up is outstanding.

Halstead stuck at it, kicking a penalty for their first points after 10 minutes of the second half and finally breaking through for a try with 10 minutes left. Further excellent running from Aldeburgh’s full back and flankers provided yet more entertaining tries.

As the fret closed in, almost obscuring the play in the far corners of the pitch, the referee blew the final whistle on a victory which takes Aldeburgh to the top of the league again with a game in hand. Next week’s away match at Braintree will be the biggest test of the season so far. There will then be the Christmas break followed by a run of away matches in January.

Next match: Saturday 9th December Away to Braintree

Christmas Party 16th December

A bring and share supper with bar on Saturday 16th. All welcome. More details to follow.


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