A very hard day at the office for the Acorns yesterday.
Firstly congratulations to East Grinstead on a well put together performance, and hosting a fantastic lunch in memory of Matt Ratana.
Sadly the rugby gods were not wearing purple and gold yesterday as the first XV experienced a high number of injuries, leading them to finish the match with only 13 men on the field.
An injury to T. Lightfoot during the warm up resulted in a change to the starting line up and reduced the subs bench down to 2.
East Grinstead started well and after 20 minutes had a 22 point lead.
After a slow start from the men of URFC the second 20 minutes were much more promising with a more organised defence frustrating the East Grinstead attack. Sadly both J. Forward and A. Richardson both sustained injuries which meant they had to be withdrawn from the action.
The second half saw some true team spirit and unity, which a testament to the bond this squad have formed over the preseason period.
A thumb injury brought C. Harvey’s afternoon to an early conclusion and reduced URFC to 14 men. With players playing out of position and covering for a missing man it was great to see how everyone pulled together as a team.
As the half progressed C. Marshall was forced to leave the field after suffering a groin injury, which reduced the Acorns to 13 men for the final 10 minutes of action.
With 13 men on the field URFC adapted to the situation in front of them and forced numerous knock on’s and penalties from East Grinstead.
With the final throw of the dice, the Acorns played some.of their most expansive rugby of the day and progressed down the pitch towards the East Grinstead 22. After a powerful carry from S. Hartfield URFC were rewarded with a penalty in front of the posts which captain C. Buckland confidently converted.
A tough day full of ups and downs, injuries and lessons for the men in purple and gold.
A fantastic debut and man of the match performance from scrum half N. Cherry.
The squad now regroup and go again next weekend at home to Lewes RFC.