Sunday, 24 March 2019

Edwards and O’Neill put in late tackles to ensure Bulls victory

Edwards and O’Neill put in late tackles to ensure Bulls victory

HENLEY BULLS got their Zoo Shield campaign back on track with a home win against Hertford 2nds.

Hertford started brightly on a fast pitch and put the Bulls under pressure as they put the phases together but never troubled the defensive line as big tackles were being made by Adam Neal, Andrew Stobbs, and Jimmy Wright.

The Bulls were able to clear their lines, but ill discipline and silly mistakes allowed Hertford to keep the pressure on. Again it was a repeat set in defence for the Bulls as Liam Goodison, Henry Penrose and Elliot Deacon put in some big tackles.

The Bulls were able to clear their lines but crept off side and gave the Hertford fly half a free chance to send a high ball up and cause panic in the defence but the tackle was well covered by Archie Van Dijk. However, Hertford recycled the ball quickly and scored in the corner. This score spurred the Bulls on and they were able to get their hands on the ball as Rhyan Scott-Young looked dangerous and caused problems with hand in ball.

The line-out was working well as a good drive saw Neal break down the blind side and off load to Ross MacDougall to sprint in, but the score was rulled out as the off load was adjudged to be forward.

The Bulls finally broke the Hertford defence and a good take in the line-out allowed Ryan O’Neill to run up the middle before a quick phase and MacDougall found Van Dijk down the blind side, who drew the last defender and put Scott-Young in to sprint in from 40 meters out.

The Bulls were now able to start putting the phases together and started making half breaks, but it was silly mistakes and ill discipline that kept the hosts out. However, a penalty kick by Peter Kerins put the Bulls 8-5 up at half time. Early in the second half more mistakes put the Bulls under pressure and further tackles were needed to keep Hertford out. The Bulls backs were now joining in with tackles by O’Neill, Sam Portland and Rhys Edwards.

With Hertford struggling to break the line, they tried to kick through and it was returned with interest by Tapua and Wright.

MacDougall sniped at the ruck and broke through to draw the defender to allow Portland to sprint in from the half way to make it 15-5 to the Bulls.

Hertford hit back and a poor kick chase allowed the visitors backs to attack at pace, causing problems and breaking through the Bulls tackle which led to a try in the right corner to make it 15-10 with 10 minutes of the match remaining.

Hertford battled hard with determination to get the try for the draw and went close to scoring in the corner but a double tackle from Edwards and O’Neill brought an end to game.

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