Carter’s late try some consolation for Seahawks
St Austell v HMS Seahawk
With HMS Seahawk’s season in full flow, the team faced a strong St Austell side. Having played a combination Hayle side two weeks previous, putting in a great performance with a comfortable score line, the next game was going to be a little different, as the St Austell squad boasted a balanced mix of 1st and 2nd XV players looking to get some game time.
A number of Seahawk players were away on RN U23s' duty and with some of the more experienced members unable to travel because of work commitments, the management scrabbled together 22 bodies trying hard to get a balanced 15 to start the match. The more experienced players found themselves out of position in order to assist the new players as for a number of the team it was their first taste of military rugby.
The game started at a very fast tempo with St Austell applying pressure. The Seahawk players were unable to compete and fell off the tackles, finding themselves chasing the ball around the pitch. Matt Horton was on the back foot most of the half but with his big clearance kicks he was able to relieve the pressure on many occasions and foil the St Austell attacks. Ben Lenderyou attacked hard but with less experience players around him the move often broke down resulting in either a penalty or turnover ball. St Austell were first to score with a powering run by the second row in mid-field brushing away poor tackles and finding space out wide to touch down. With the conversion unsuccessful, they led 5-0. From the re-start the opposition attacked hard but with Chris Warner leading the defence they were able to hold the line and keep repelling the attacking side, but a lapse in communication from the inside man allowed the 9 to slip through and score under the posts to extend the lead 12-0 with 20 minutes played.
Seahawk were unable to reach the 10m line from kick off, giving the opposition pack a strong field position to launch an attack; winning the scrum and by spreading the ball with pace out wide, exposed Seahawk’s line, but great awareness in defence from Paul Saberton forced the ball carrier into touch. The Seahawk defensive line was creaking and inevitably on the 38th minute the St Austell fullback finished off a well worked try to score in the corner once again. The half finished 17-0 to the hosts.
Seahawk made a number of changes at half time. The coaches wanted to see how all the players would perform and with some having not played rugby since leaving school the next 40 minutes were going to be interesting. Having brought a big squad of players it was important for all to have some game time to identify areas for improvement. The desire to perform and do well was evident from the start. Sam Carter, now playing in the centre, led a hard defensive line which pushed the St Austell attack back. On the retreat St Austell threw a speculative pass for Carter to pick the ball out of the air between the 10 and 12 to score a length of the pitch try out pacing the St Austell back line. Points on the board at last: 17-5.
The new players settled very quickly into the game, keeping good discipline and making first up tackles which halted the St Austell side time and time again, the game now was becoming more evenly matched with Seahawk looking good with ball in hand. Danny Lowe was leading the charge in the midfield putting in some big tackles with Warner backing him up, however as Seahawk appeared to be gaining ground, St Austell’s 12 was able to dance through the defence and score untouched in the middle of the park, 24-5.
As a reaction to this the Seahawk players started to believe in their ability; Warner dominated the breakdowns, Horton found the angles, kicking for field position and the Seahawk set piece became an area of dominance with the St Austell players starting to run out of puff. Now able to release, Number 8, Josh Tora with the pack winning every scrum, space was in abundance allowing the backline to flourish when speedster Saberton (having received the ball deep in the Seahawk half) his fast feet eluded the St Austell defence. Caught just before the line, the Seahawk players were in close support and were able to recycle the ball into midfield to continue the attack. A wayward pass in the successive phase was deemed forward: scrum St Austell. Still dominating at the scrum the Seahawk pack turned the ball over allowing Carter, back at 9, to snipe down the blindside and score. The game ended St Austell 24 HMS Seahawk 10.
The Seahawk players were slow to start but as the game progressed, the better they became. The coaching staff were pleased at the level of commitment shown by all and it was a good chance to cast their eyes over a number of Navy Cup candidates.
Team List: Sam Vernon, Danny Lowe, Chris Warner, Liam Stephen, Jordan Pullinger, Ben Welsby, Kieron Bolger, Luke Kitson, Sam Carter, Matt Horton, Dan Parkin, Josh Tora, Paul Saberton, Ben Lenderyou, Cameron Oldridge, Dom Higgins, Josh Warburton, James McInnes.
Next up for Seahawk is Hayle RFC on the 8th Nov, KO 7pm.
Words by Guy Pallet