Saxons Show Some Style at Fordingbridge
By Tom Joyce
The Saxons set a high tempo in the first half and built a comfortable lead, but it was Fordingbridge who came back stronger in the second half
This was our first visit to Fordingbridge since we beat them in the U13 Cup Competition and booked our place in the Top 8 teams in the County. We always used to struggle against Fordingbridge, a tough team who like to move the ball about, but we have grown in confidence, strength and skill since then and we showed that right from the beginning today, putting pressure on Fordingbridge right from our kick off, winning the ball back, going through the phases and then working the ball to Andrew Gamble on the wing to score within 2 minutes.
This was an awesome start and when they kicked the ball to us and we counter-attacked, again going through the phases before releasing the ball wide. This time, a lovely waited and weighted pass from Jack Adams to James Diamond sent the right winger to the corner to score.
Both of the Saxon wingers had scored within 5 minutes of the game! This was really good play and Fordingbridge must have wondered what the day was going to look like. To their credit, they steadied the game and had some possession, threatening our try line and forcing us to take risks at the breakdown. The Saxons were penalised several times for going off their feet and received a warning from the referee. It was pleasing that the Saxons responded, deciding to ice the rucks and wait for a mistake or an opportunity, it came and the Saxons broke out of their 22. Charlie Barnes was next to break away, finishing off a great period of play to score. Fordingbridge re-grouped, kicked deep and won a penalty in front of the posts which was too good to pass up.
In the last minute of the first half, James Taylor broke through a tackle on the Fordingbridge 22 and left the chasers in his wake, scoring between the posts for Jamie Stephenson to convert. Half time Saxons 22 Fordingbridge 3.
The second half started promising, with Rob Henderson running a great line to cut through the Fordingbridge defence, showing to pass and then just stepping through the hesitant defenders to score. Jack Adams then did the same 3 minutes later and the Saxons had again scored twice in the opening 5 minutes.
However, Fordingbridge did not crumble or go down, they fought hard and turned it around, making and taking their own chances, with a great score from a cross-field kick and a well worked ruck on our 5 meter line. The Saxons created chances, but just couldn't finish them, the creativity and support play was there, but sometimes things don't go as expected.
The Saxons finished on the up, but Fordingbridge had fought their way back into the game and made the scoreline more respectable. Well done Saxons, there was some really classy rugby played today.