Last weekend Rye Rugby Club hosted East Grinstead 2s for the first time since December 2019.
Spirits were high, given the last game away was very close, with impressive play from both teams.
To commence the fun, Rye welcomed the guests with a performance by the local Ryebellion Drummers. Spectacular, as always!
With Rye winning the coin toss, they kicked towards the shed end to start. Only five minutes in, Solomon Cooke, inside centre, scored a well deserved try. Converted excellently by Jackson Harvey.
Just five minutes later, East Grinstead scored a try, which was also converted. An intense first ten minutes, with great pressure from Rye, saw East Grinstead penalised. Jackson Harvey chose to kick for points, making the score now 10-7 to Rye.
East Grinstead received a yellow card after a late tackle, but shortly after, Rye were penalised and had to drop 10 metres, and East Grinstead kicked for a line out. From this, a scrum to East Grinstead resulted in them scoring a try just seconds before the whistle. No conversion.
With competitive play from both teams, possession was equal throughout the first half, until the last few minutes. The half time score was 12-10 to East Grinstead.
With East Grinstead taking the kick to start the second half, the possession started to shift with East Grinstead dominating the attack. A penalty was awarded seven minutes into the second half, in which they kicked for points, and again 15 minutes later, where they gained another three points.
Half an hour into the second half, Rye received their first yellow card for offside play. East Grinstead took full advantage and scored a try, which was converted.
A second yellow card was issued for a high tackle, and once again East Grinstead used this to their advantage and scored the last try of the game, and converted, leaving the final score at 32-10.
Both teams had played with great effort throughout the match and competed hard.
Rye have faced challenges over the last season with teams unwilling to travel, resulting in lack of games and match practice, so full credit to the team for keeping their drive throughout the game.
Rye had started strong, proving strength with amazing scrums, and line outs. They were successful in creating opportunities from line breaks, but the lack of match practice showed with a series of unforced errors. East Grinstead used this to their advantage and were good at strategising and adapting to play.
Man of the match went to Solly Cooke for a brilliant performance throughout.
A big thank you to the staff at Rye Rugby Club, the Ryebellion Drummers, and everyone who supports the club. Also, a big thank you to one of our members/players, Cezz for the great match food. Never disappoints!
Shout out to Harrison Nobbs for making a return to the Rye grounds after a long three years. You did great! Also, star scrum-half Tom Conneely for making a return.
Image Credits: Chris Lawson .