T’s turned up to St Mary’s Broom Rd sportsground on Saturday ready for a tough game against Harlequins Am’s. Both teams had solid wins in previous weeks and both were near the pointy end of the table. Conditions were good after early rain and a slight breeze favouring T’s to start the match.
Things started well for T’s initially, with good phase play leading to a half break by left wing Lucas Betes. Quins were penalised in the ensuing phases and second five-eighth Keiran Morgan duly knocked over the kick.
Slowly Quins started to gain the upper hand through the rest of the first half. A combination of big forward runners, a good offloading game and some size and pace out wide resulted in T’s increasingly see themselves on the backfoot.
Quins scored good tries at the 25th and 33rd minutes through their outside backs. Unfortunately Keiran knocked himself out whilst attempting to stop the first try and a reshuffle in the back line saw Seb Turner come into the centres. Callum Savill also managed take a big blow to his already unsavoury features, meaning skipper Deano ‘Cyclops’ Oliver had to help out in the backs too.
T’s had been poor with their kicking game, ruck clear outs and kick receipts. Halftime couldn’t come soon enough and Yatesy gave the boys the boys a much needed verbal spray.
Unfortunately things didn’t get any better after halftime. Some poor option taking by T’s allowed Quins into their half and their strong running winger finished off in the corner. Then a poorly timed pass by first five-eighth Alex Hunter allowed the Quins centre to stroll under the bar for another try. To make matters worse, another wayward pass on the goal line allowed Quins to dot down again. T’s lost Seb Turner to a nasty eye injury and the bench was all but empty. It was looking to be a long afternoon for T’s…
Thankfully things started to turn around for the men in maroon as they finally managed to get some possession in Quins half. After some strong forward carries through Lewis Turner, Tommy Darcy, Franco and George, Alex Hunter dotted down from ten metres out. George Flatman put it between the uprights and the score was looking slightly more respectable.
Soon after the skipper stepped his way through the midfield to bag another meat pie and George added the extras. With time running out T’s looked like they might salvage something from the game, even if it wasn’t the win. Callum S was back on and making some inroads with his kick returns. Deano then made another great break down the left hand edge and fed inside to Hunter, who’s creaking legs managed to hold onto score in the corner. George couldn’t manage the tricky conversion from the corner.
T’s then hammered on Quins line for the next 5minutes but couldn’t break them down. One more try would of secured two losing bonus points. Great D meant T’s were held up over the line on the last play.
It was a tough and physical day at the office for Thamesians, but plenty was learnt from the defeat. Quins were certainly the better team on the day and deserved the big W. T’s will be raring to go come the return fixture at Marble Hill.
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