HMS OCEAN All Blacks v Houghton RFC

HMS OCEAN All Blacks

Houghton RFC

Houghton (Tyne & Wear) played host to HMS Ocean’s All Blacks on Sunday afternoon as part of a number of sporting events held in the city to mark the visit of the Warship to Wearside over the Bank Holiday weekend.

This eagerly anticipated clash saw the Ocean All Blacks team fresh from celebrations that had gone long into the night following their Granting of the Freedom of the City . Their opposition: a makeshift Houghton side looking to play its third game in four days suffering with the after effects of the End of Season Presentation Night the previous evening.

Despite concerns about whether both teams would last the whole game they produced a thoroughly entertaining and extremely competitive game which was played in the right spirit and saw the Ocean All Blacks coming out 41 – 10 victors.

Ocean kicked off the game with both teams shaken from their reverie; they started competing for every ball.

The first score came after five minutes when Houghton, having played the ball downfield into the Ocean 22, was awarded a scrum which they won only to lose the ball during the next phase of play to a penalty. Ocean capitalised by taking a quick tap with Rob Jones selling an outrageous dummy resulting in an offload to winger Tom Scott who raced some 80 yards avoiding a number of attempted Houghton tackles to score in the corner. The conversion kick was missed.

Following the restart Houghton started to apply the pressure and following several phases of play in the Ocean 22 failed to capitalise.

Surviving the onslaught, Ocean extended their lead in the 20th minute when they seized turnover ball in the Houghton 22.  Once again playing the ball out quickly to the left wing where the errant tight head prop dallied, crossing the line for a try, on this occasion the try was converted.

Further pressure saw the ball with Tom Scott who raced to the line to score, with the conversion again being successful.

Houghton had several attempts to get back into the game with a number of forays into the Ocean half but they were hit on the counter.  Houghton defended well but once again Ocean managed to get the ball to Tom Scott who played the ball in field for Dan Philips to score. Houghton now finding themselves 24 – 0 down in 28 minutes really started to get back into the game and their efforts were rewarded when they were awarded a penalty on the Ocean 5 metre line. Prop Rob Hebron took a quick tap and go to power over the Ocean try line. To the disappointment of both sides, Hebron was unsuccessful with his conversion attempt.

From the restart Houghton kicked the ball downfield into the Ocean 22 whose defence failed to control the ball, Chad Smith was quickly closed down by Houghton’s Ben King who with a flash of individual brilliance kicked into space, collected the ball and outpaced the defenders to touch down.FIRST HALF-   HOUGHTON - 10   24 – HMS Ocean All Blacks

Houghton kicked off the second half but was immediately put under pressure and within three minutes Ocean extended the lead when the Joe Long collected the ball in the Houghton 22 and went on an elusive run avoiding several would-be Houghton defenders to score. Ocean continued to apply the pressure when Chris Vickers broke through to score at the 50 minute mark with the conversion being successful.

Despite now being 36 – 10 down Houghton tried to reduce the deficit at every opportunity and came very close on a number of occasions only to be thwarted by some resolute Ocean defending.

A disappointed Bill Baillie was denied a score due to an Ocean knock on in the build up.

Play continued apace and the final score of the game came in the 75th minute when Tom Scott raced in to score his third try of the afternoon in front of the Ship’s Captain, Capt Tim Henry RN. At that point Tom Scott was substituted to allow him to bask in the glory of a well earned Hat trick.