Billericay Bees made the long trip to Clacton for their first league match of the 2019 season.
Team: Louie Love, Ben Adams, Luke Bates, Jake Bausor, Jack Whiting, Charlie Pearson, Cam Blackburn, Nathan Cable, Leo Cromer, Will Dale, Connor Gibson, James Graves, Finn Parker, Ben Pourrat, Olly Smith, Seb Van Caster, Ellis Wright, Matt Matkin, Tom Northwood, Christian Walker.
We knew we would have a tough game as Clacton always field an impressive team with lots of big lads who cannot wait to get the ball and run hard at the opposition. We were not wrong and they opened their campaign from kick off with a series of strong runs into the heart of the Billericay defence.
Billericay defence remained steadfast with some impressive tackling from our back row; with Olly, Jake and Cam soaking up the pressure, denting Clacton’s confidence. Our defiant defence soon resulted in Billericay possession at the break down due to the quick actions of the front 5. (LJ, Ben A, Luke, Jack and Charlie)
With a good flow of possession Billericay soon started pushing Clacton back into their half. A few early injuries to Cam and Jack meant Billericay had to make some early substitutions with Leo and Seb quickly being called into action.
Around the 10-minute mark, Billericay were awarded a line-out on Clacton’s 22 with a pre-planned move being called by the forwards. As they did consistently all match, Ben A easily found Olly who was confidently lifted by Luke and Jake with the resulting ball off the top of the lineout ending up in the hands of LJ who ran onto it at full pace. Unfortunately, on this occasion LJ was held up as he went over the line.
Strong scrummaging by Billericay at the resultant scrum saw the Bees win the ball from the Clacton’s scrum, with Jake taking the opportunity to pick the ball up from the back of the scrum and power over Clacton’s try line in the far corner. The conversion was attempted by Will but was narrowly missed Score: 0-5 to Billericay
The next 10 minutes saw a fierce battle with both sides launching attacks deep into each other’s halves. Yet again some great tackling from our back line prevented Clacton’s big runner’s from scoring. There were two fantastic try saving tackles from both Will and James!
With 5 minutes of the half left, Clacton created a well worked opportunity with their centres combining well to break our defence and run the length of the pitch for their opening score. (conversion was missed) Score: was 5-5
Conscious of the time, Billericay worked to apply pressure from the kick-off with both wingers, Ellis and Nathan carrying the ball out wide. In the last few moments of the half Billericay found themselves camped 5 meters out from the Clacton try line, lots of great forwards play saw LJ, Luke, Connor and Seb all fighting to get over the try line.
Ben P and Christian working together saw an opportunity to get the ball out towards the backs and following a quick play from the ruck, Christian made a cutting flat pass to Jake who was coming on to the ball at pace and had an easy run over the line directly under the posts. Will made the conversion. Score: 5-12 to Billericay at the end of the half.
With the fresh legs of Finn and Matt coming on for the second half, Billericay maintained the tempo. Some slick hands from the backs and fancy footwork from James created a tiny space for Tom who took the opportunity to beat his opposite man and sprint the length of the pitch. Will made easy work of the conversion. Score: 5-19 to Billericay.
The next 20 minutes saw a sustained period of Clacton possession who had started to gain some confidence in spite of the gallivant tackling efforts of Leo, Jake, Olly and Ben Adams.
Following some loose turnovers Clacton were able to capitalise and ran in two tries in quick succession with a single conversion bringing the game to a tie with 3 minutes left. Score: 19-19
Billericay knew they had to go out all guns blazing for the last few minutes if they wanted to stop Clacton’s momentum. From the kick-off the Bees pressed hard and caused Clacton to make some unforced errors, resulting in a Billericay scrum deep in the Clacton half.
Some great forward work saw our front row of Luke, Finn and Charlie (volunteer prop) help Billericay secure a good set piece ball which the backs effectively utilised to attack deep into Clacton’s left-hand corner. Ben Adams, Seb and Olly helped Billericay retain possession and the inevitable try came as Jake received a smart pass from Ben P and powered over the line. Will made the conversion. Score: 19-26 to Billericay.
With only a minute on the clock Billericay played some smart Rugby and looked to secure the ball from the kick-off and retain possession with Will kicking the ball into touch at the end of the game to secure a Bees victory.
Overall some great tackling, communication and offloading (with Connors well timed offload being most notable) resulted in a great TEAM win.
Next week we are off to Campion RFC for our first Cup match of the season.
Keep up the good work Bee’s.