Thursday, 18 August 2022

Crossland shines as Bulls demolish Hertford in Shield

A FIRST-HALF onslaught from the Bulls laid the foundation for a comfortable victory in the Zoo Shield League game at

A FIRST-HALF onslaught from the Bulls laid the foundation for a comfortable victory in the Zoo Shield League game at Regatta Meadow on Saturday.

Six of the nine tries scored by the Bulls came in the opening 40 minutes although a brave Hertford side responded with two first-half tries of their own to ensure the Bulls didn’t have things all their own way.

The Bulls fielded a new look second row in Andrew Unsworth and Sam Middleton and Tom Huggins made his first appearance of this season in the centre.

Both locks gave a good account of themselves in the first half, contributing to a dominant scrummage allowing Steve Drake to supply plentiful possession for the Henley backs who looked sharp with Luke Rosier and Simon Perry in particular causing Hertford’s defence real problems. The opening Bulls try came about after short passes off the left shoulder of Tom Steindler and the supporting Adam Lubbock fell into the hands of Rupert Crossland who darted over to score.

Crossland contributed three tries and assisted in two as the afternoon progressed. He broke the Hertford defence from 40 metres out on one occasion and scored under the posts and also made two individual bursts up the left flank to score.

Luke Rosier and Simon Perry also scored well-crafted tries as Hertford continued to struggle with the sheer pace of the Bulls.

Hertford battled bravely at the breakdown and kicked for territory on occasion and were rewarded for their efforts with a total of three tries, the best of which was an individual break following a turnover from 30 metres out catching the Bulls off guard.

Much of their territorial kicking was fielded by Sam Quelch and Rosier and returned with interest. Henley’s biggest threat appeared to be through centre Simon Perry who attracted two or three defenders to stop his charging runs which created gaps for Tom Huggins and the back row to exploit which they did to good effect on several occasions.

Tommy Haynes put in a fine performance in the back row and was called into action as a line-out jumper in the absence of Barty Carson. Haynes’ drive and determination was equalled by back row partner Tom Steindler, recently called up to the Denmark squad. Steindler scored a fine individual try from 50 metres out where his pace and footwork left several Hertford defenders in his wake.

The Bulls’ left wing Jack Adamson scored a classic winger’s try busting on to a well-timed pass from Crossland to charge in on the left wing. Adam Lubbock managed to convert four of the tries with Ed Church, the Bulls hooker, drop-kicking the final play of the game for a 57-26 victory.

Crossland brought the game to a conclusion with the last of his four tries and hooker Ed Church cheekily dropped the final conversion.

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