|4th February 2018||11.00am||U15s||46-7||Blackheath||Friendly||H|
After a run of poor form, the Under 15s had a point to prove against a buoyant Blackheath XV on Sunday in a friendly match just two weeks before the Kent Cup quarter finals.
After Blackheath won the toss and elected to play with the elements and the slope, it was always going to be a containing job for the Wanderers side in the first half. But they struck first when a move down the left created space for slicks hands from the pacey backs to put flying winger Rafe Walters away for the first try in the corner.
But it was not long until the big forwards of Blackheath were making inroads into the Wanderers defence. Discipline has been a part that the coaching team have been trying to improve and after a few silly, technical penalties, the Thanet side found themselves hemmed into their won 22 and it was only a matter of time until Blackheath broke though and converted for a 7-5 lead.
But this Under 15s side is made of stern stuff and began to get the upper hand scoring two tries; one from fly half Cameron Beck after a mesmeric break and one from storming forward Giotto McCourt-Welsh who put in a storming shift all morning. Wanderers turned round with a 17-7 lead.
Wanderers knew that Blackheath had fancied their chances but the late first half tries seemed to knock the stuffing out of them and the big Thanet forwards started to dominate. It's an old adage that forwards determine who wins the game and backs determine by how much and that has never been more true than in this game.
Archie Rixon, playing his first game at number 8 had Blackheath forwards hanging off him all day. Their defence had little answer to the direct strikes from Rixon, Finlay Lycett and Billy McHattie running off Leon Doody at 9 and Beck and 10 in a new game plan which seems to be working. Then 10 minutes into the second half, the flood gates started to spring a leak.
First to score was power prop, Kieran Murray and more was to follow once the gaps opened up in the three-quarters. First Beck got his second before Riley Marshall, a recent convert from hooker to outside centre, ghosted over from 25 metres out.
Inside centre, James Crompton then got on the scoresheet with a 75 metre dash, clearly listening to his coaches to hold the ball in the outside arm to allow him to fend off cover tacklers. Crompton also added 3 conversions in the game for a personal tally of 11 points. Then in the dying seconds, winger Ziggy Lee completed the scoring with a powerful run into the left corner.
The 46-7 result showed a great effort from the Thanet side but don't rule out this Blackheath side. They stuck to their task the typical tenacity that you would expect from any Blackheath side and we wish them well in their upcoming Kent Plate quarter final against Cranbrook.
Wanderers compete in the top level of the Kent competition on 18th February 2018 by travelling to Old Elthamians RFC, a rematch of last year's knockout game which OEs won. Thanet are hoping for a better result this season and are ready to deliver.
Tries: Walters, Beck 2, McCourt-Welsh, Murray, Crompton, Marshall, Lee Z
Con: Crompton 3
Written by: Ian Lodge
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