What a superb game of schoolboy rugby as Halileybury travelled to Merchant Taylors’. This game had it all.
After a scrappy first five minutes, the relentless Josh Stibbs scored what was a great team try for the visitors with quick hands and a clever miss pass from Iwan Dawes, who allowed Sam Cappaert to set up the ubiquitous fling forward. Dawes added the extras.
Merchant Taylors struck back quickly, with a exceptional break from the full back leaving defenders in his wake from 40m out. Prop Sam Hurding and wing Kayode Ariyo pulled off superb try saving tackles showing the Haileybury sides spirit and will to win.
The game was developing into a closely fought match where any mistake would be punished. MTS’ Will Porter adding two penalties to the score board to give his side the advantage.
Haileybury got the last score in the first half with a superb snipe and a quickly taken tap penalty from captain Bryn McCall leading to a Kyle Douglas try under the posts. Dawes added the extras again to send his side in 14-13 ahead.
Big carries from the likes of Charlie Harrington, Kyle Douglas and Will McKenna continued to add to the pressure for Haileybury with Harry Collins and Ollie Heazel causing havoc in the midfield.
The next try came again from Josh Stibbs taking his tally to 10 tries this year. The space was spotted by Cappaert and it could only be described as an exceptional finish from Stibbs beating the two defenders in his way.
Merchant Taylors scored next from a maul with the talismanic Ollie Moody in the sin bin. Iwan Dawes made a 30m line break stepping like Shaun Johnson. Space was spotted to the right and with Ollie Heazel’s pace, there was no stopping him.
Hits were coming from Harry Collins and Charlie Harrington meaning it was difficult for MTS to build momentum leading to a penalty Haileybury.
McCall tapped and went kicking the ball in behind MTS with the superb Kayode Ariyo regaining the ball to get a deserved try to cap an excellent performance. Dawes was not missing that one given his form. 35-20 Haileybury.
MTS had the last say with the last play of the game with Wasps Scrum Half Will Porter scoring to conclude a great game of rugby.
Full Time: Merchant Taylors’ 25-35 Haileybury
Man of the Match – Kayode Ariyo