Hinckley win crunch friendly
HINCKLEY U15s overcame a strong, well organised and confident Stratford side in an incredibly physical “friendly” in their own back yard.
Both teams went into the ‘Tempest’ unbeaten this season, and it was Hinckley who took the honours with a 26-17 victory.
At the start of the game, Stratford applied increasing pressure and scored the opening try.
Hinckley hit back and moved the ball forward.
Stratford tried to kick clear from a scrum deep in their own 22 but a brilliant chargedown by Burton allowed Barnes to chase through and touch down for the equalising try. Allen’s superbly struck conversion from the touchline bounced the wrong side of the upright, taking the score to 5-5.
Turnover ball led to Hinckley’s second try, as initial breaks by Jacques, Duggins and A. Whittingham created space for Allen to jink his way through and stretch over the line for a fantastic score. Allen converted to give Hinckley a deserved, well fought 12-5 lead.
After the break, Hinckley tried to run from deep within their 22, but the ball was spilled and Stratford took advantage, breaking through for their second try under the posts. The conversion was missed.
Hinckley responded brilliantly as the game re-com- menced, Allen sending a pinpoint cross-field kick which Smith chased and gathered superbly, before rounding his opposite number to score under the posts. Allen didn’t miss his conversion and Hinckley’s lead was extended to 10-19.
Stratford were awarded another penalty which they took quickly, exploiting space down the blind side to run in their third try and reduce Hinckley’s lead to 17-19 to set up an incredibly tense final five minutes.
Hinckley’s Goodwin made a terrific steal in the tackle before popping the ball to Jacques who powered up to Stratford’s 22. Hinckley were awarded their first penalty of the second half as Stratford went over the top in a ruck, opting for a scrum, much to the bemusement of the loyal, nervous away supporters.
The decision proved to be genius. Hinckley’s dominant scrum held firm, Wainde slipped the ball to Moore who unleashed Jacques at full tilt to smash through the stunned Stratford defensive line and score under the posts. Allen converted, increasing Hinckley’s lead to 26-17 much to the relief of their now raucous fans. And this is how the game ended.
This was undoubtedly Hinckley’s toughest test of the season so far. Despite having three players out through injury, the black and ambers won the battle of the ‘unbeatables’ which the whole squad, coaching and managerial staff, and supporting families and friends should be immensely proud of.
Hinckley RFC Under 15s in action. Picture: Lee Buckler