Uphill struggle ends in defeat for Royston

PUBLISHED: 12:46 02 November 2006 | UPDATED: 14:52 12 May 2010

Royston U-16 12 Huntingdon U16 22 THE first half was literally and figuratively an uphill struggle as Royston played against the elements and struggled to gain any possession as a much stronger Huntingdon pack won most of the ball at both set plays and b

Royston U-16 12

Huntingdon U16 22

THE first half was literally and figuratively an uphill struggle as Royston played against the elements and struggled to gain any possession as a much stronger Huntingdon pack won most of the ball at both set plays and breakdowns.

Royston's tackling was tremendous especially in the backs where fly half Adam Oakman led by example, well supported by centres Ben Ritsema and Tom Hallam.

Huntingdon scored three times before half time, first from a quickly taken tap penalty which sent a burly forward crashing over and twice more when their effective rolling mauls enabled their heavyweight forwards to ground the ball over the line.

Surprisingly the Huntingdon kicker only converted the most difficult of the three kicks giving Huntingdon a 17-0 half time lead.

In the second half, Royston rotated their front row to see the welcome return of the effective Aidan Towner and Ed Hall, who took over the hooking and throwing duties and at last won Royston their fair share of possession and even took one against the head.

Using the elements Oakman and Ritsema kicked for territory and following a neat grubber kick by Ritsema, Oakman picked the ball up on the run and dived over in the corner, narrowly failing to convert his own try.

Five minutes later Royston surprised Huntingdon at their own game when full back Dan Ritsema burst to within five metres of the line and was then driven over by his forwards for a second try that Oakman converted.

Only five points in arrears, Royston scented victory and had a series of mauls in the Huntingdon 22, but teamwork went out of the window as too many individuals sought glory for themselves.

Huntingdon hit them with a sucker punch, forcing them back into their own 22 and then spoiling a defensive scrum allowing the scrum half to dive over near the posts.

Surprisingly, the kick was missed and Royston spent the last five minutes battering in vain at the Huntingdon line.

With a bit more luck and more cohesion this performance could have been turned into a victory. It is only a matter of time.

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