Thomas Hardye secured their place in the U15 NatWest Vase final with a stunning start to the second half against Bridgewater at Allianz Park, securing a 48-5 victory.
They will now travel to Twickenham for the U15 Vase final on Wednesday 29th March feeling full of confidence that they can go on and make their mark at HQ.
Their victory was built on a simply brilliant opening five minutes of the second half, where they scored three tries in quick succession to effectively end the game there and then.
The sides had gone in at half time level at 5-5, tries from Jack Foulkes for Bridgewater and Orlando Bailey for Thomas Hardye troubling the score keepers. If anything, though, it was Bridgwater who were on top, spending the majority of the half in Thomas Hardye territory. Hardye’s defence was the winner though as following Foulkes 1st minute try, they kept Bridgewater out for the remainder of the half.
What could not have been predicted based on that first half was what was to come right form the kick off in the second half.
In five minutes straight from the kick off Thomas Hardye had, in reality, won the game. Within a minute they scored through Samson Marshall in the left hand corner, a brilliant finish. Two minutes later loosehead Reece Vincent drove over from short range after a five metre line-out, before the mercurial Orlando Bailey crossed for his second just a minute later as he ran almost three-quarters of the field, returning the Bridgewater kick off.
His conversion meant that in five minutes that 5-5 draw was now a 22-5 lead. It was not insurmountable for Bridgewater, but the way the scores had turned so quickly was a hammerblow to their confidence, while it put Thomas Hardye on cloud 9.
With Bridgewater heads down, things were to get worse as a man was sent to the bin, and Thomas Hardye were not slow to capitalise as the simply outstanding Bailey threw a huge dummy and waltzed through for his hat-trick.
His conversion stretched things to 29-5, and a few minutes later that had become 36-5 as his big inside centre, Frankie Read, powered down the right hand flank for a superb solo effort.
Bridgewater showed admirable guts to rally and stem the tide, but with just a couple of minutes left on the clock, they ran out of steam, and Thomas Hardye added the gloss with two further scores, first through Zach Southall, and then a second for Read, this time charging down the left.
Just to add the gloss, Bailey added a superb touchline conversion with the last kick of the game to send his side to Twickenham with a brilliant 48-5 victory.
It truly was a stunning second half from this Thomas Hardye side. Semi finals are rarely won by these margins, but in that early second half blitz they simply blew their opponents out of the water. It was a special performance, and one that will live with these players for a very long time indeed.
Full Time: Thomas Hardye 48-5 Bridgewater
|U15 NatWest Vase Semi Final 1 Teams – Thomas Hardye v Bridgewater
|Jacob Cox (24)
|Jack Adams-Spencer (23)
|Will Simpson (22)
|Taylor Moore (19)