Coney Hill II 20,Sarries II 6
Sarries arrived with high hopes for this friendly, despite a much changed side than selected due to unavailability.
Deja vu was prevalent as the same official for the game had presided over last weeks fixture vs Chosen Hill. It was also the same for the way the game transpired.
A hard physical encounter as expected in which both sides bashed away at the defence to no avail…scoring opportunities were at a premium with a penalty each being the outcome of the first half.
The second half was more of the same with the Sarries forwards completely dominant in the scrums and on a par in the loose and lineout.The battle was in the backs with the Coney Hill 10 being instrumental, pinning Sarries back with positional kicks and running play,however the doggedness of the Sarries backs held out bar one bounce of the ball from one such kick pressurising Carl Stevenson to infringe whilst chasing back with the opposition winger and fullback, which the ref deemed worthy to award a penalty try…much to Stevensons dismay.
Sarries were the masters of their own undoing,the same scenario as last weeks game ensued with sarries frustration at the confusing manner in which the ref was officiating the contest leading to penalty after penalty giving hill momentum.
With a lineout in which the ref allowed Hill to yo yo players in and out, Sarries were caught napping as Hill suddenly threw the ball in and set up a driving maul to allow their impressive 8 to score.
A penalty for each side left the score at 20-6 to the home side at full time…a score line which seems to flatter the winning side as it was a very close game with Sarries finally applying pressure on the Hill line in the last 15 minutes but with no prize.
A superb scrummaging performance and decent loose play by a much juggled pack with 2 former backs in the second row and makeshift jumpers in the line-out who performed well.
The backs defended well and met a brick wall when attacking despite all efforts.much to applaud but still lots to work on…especially mental strength when dealing with officials and the way they officiate.
Highlights were the leadership skills from Damien Frieli and Junior Mcdaid, and James Connolly for becoming the shortest second row in the clubs history, and a solid performance in defence by all members of the squad.
Writers MOM is Chris Windley playing 6…..consistently a nuisance at the breakdown, good line-outs despite only just taking on the role, and tenacious in defence.