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Match Report: Surrey Values Festival, 20th November 2022

Match report: Surrey Values Festival, 20 November 2022

With a run of solid results behind them, there was a sense of anticipation among the Esher U13 squad in its first festival of the 22/23 season.

Esher vs Wimbledon Warriors

First up was Wimbledon Warriors, and it was obvious from the start that there wasn't going to be any let-up in the pace and pressure that's starting to define the Esher U13s game. Confident rucking saw Esher dominating, leading to first half tries from Ollie Langton, Gabriel Savva and Noah Wadey to leave Esher leading five to nothing. Wimbledon's defence rallied in the second half, but what really came through was Finn Collins-Green's tackling. A confident win and a great start, marred only slightly by an injury to Harry Woodward. Final score 5-0.

Esher vs Harlequins Amateurs

Of all the day's games, it was Harlequins that the U13s really wanted a test against. And what a test it was, with Harlequins putting up a fierce defence, but still sliced open by Esher's speed for an early try. But this match was closely fought, seeing a composed Esher U13s team making better use of its forwards, to combat Harlequin's preferred tactic of holding up players. Esher secured the win, but in a much more balanced match. Final score 3-2.

Esher vs Rosslyn Park

Rosslyn Park had the advantage of size over the Esher U13s players, seeing a much more defensive game from the home side, but it was Esher's ability to keep the pressure on that saw Adam Osment open the scoring. The second half remained scrappy, but Rosslyn Park could not get on the scoreboard, tries from Ollie Langton and Charlie Miles giving Esher the win 3-0.

Esher vs London Scottish

Shock and awe is about the only description that fits Esher's first half performance against London Scottish. Esher exposed a weak left wing from Scottish, with Miles Nicholson, Nathan Scaddan and George Calverly.all exploiting it. The second half saw Scottish put up a more substantial defence, but that only fed Esher's desire to win. Teamwork was the winner, with a dominant performance from Esher. Final score 7-0.

Esher vs London Welsh

Approaching the final game with a clear run of victories, Esher were clearly expectant. That confidence played out, with tries from Noah Wadey, Gabriel Savva and Ollie Langton - the latter after a dash the length of the pitch. But London Welsh was not about to give up, getting over the line before the half time whistle. The second half saw London Welsh continue the pressure, drawing level and in the dying minutes scoring their fourth to take the lead. Esher fought valiantly, and with the final whistle leaving the score at 3-4 to Welsh, there was a feeling that given a few more minutes, Esher would have levelled.

While there was some disappointment among players, that single try loss shouldn't take away from what was a day of great rugby, great tries and importantly, great teamwork. Every player committed, got stuck in and played a part in bringing those team victories. Notable mentions from the coaches for Finn Collins-Green, Seb Clark, Leo Hall and Nathan Scaddan rounded out an awesome performance across the festival.

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