Young ‘Smithy’ comes up trumps
By Katie Daunt
RBSI Academy Colts 19
Heathfield & Waldron 12
THE future of Guernsey rugby was on show in force as Matt Chammings’ RBSI Guernsey Rugby Academy side battled bravely to hold off a valiant Heathfield & Waldron side at the KGV last Sunday.
The Colts’ Sussex Colts Premier League campaign has been an up-and-down affair this season, with great wins such as the home success over Jersey and big disappointments in the form of a couple of narrow defeats on the road.
They certainly needed the win over Heathfield & Waldron and they got it - just.
Ultimately it was the son of a former Guernsey ‘hero’, Mike Smith, who got the winning score, the decisive try coming very late, leaving the visitors little time to come back.
Six of the Colts squad are challenging hard for starting spots for the Vikings in their big game at Newick this weekend, and you can easily see why. Many of the squad are ripe for the step up into senior rugby.
On this particular day, there was so little between the sides.
The two packs gave nothing away to each other and there were an array of fine backs in both line-ups.
Guernsey were soon on the scoreboard.
Kicking for the corner and pinning their hopes on a catch and drive score, Guernsey were repelled through several phases until flanker Tom Yarwood scrambled over in the corner.
Collenette's conversion was wide and Heathfield & Waldron were swift to recover, their left wing flying down the open touchline to score a superb try from all of 60m out.
The conversion was successful, Guernsey were behind and soon to be in more trouble as key forward Yarwood trudged off with a shoulder injury.
Heathfield & Waldron had some real pace and trickery in their backs, as well as with their big No. 8 and when he blasted through some poor cover to race clear it seemed Heathfield & Waldron would score again.
He had not reckoned on Will Mason's own strength and pace though and with the full-back throwing himself into the do-or-die challenge the No. 8 dropped the ball over the line. No try and relief for coach Chammings.
For Guernsey it was a scare they failed to heed because a short while later the same No. 8 bulldozed his way through and nothing would stop him this time.
Heathfield & Waldron were 12-5 ahead at the break and a response was needed by the home team.
Two minutes after the restart they got it courtesy of Phil Le Noury.
Scrum half Ben Holland, who enjoyed a fine game in unhelpful conditions to say the least, made the initial break to set up a couple of attacking phases close to the Heathfield & Waldron line and from close range Le Noury dived over to score and Collenette converted to square the match.
With the cold breeze at their backs, Guernsey made most of the running and had chances to score.
Collenette charged down an attempted clearance but with the try-line invitingly unprotected he kicked too far ahead and the ball went dead.
Guernsey then had a spell camped on the Heathfield & Waldron line which came to nothing and a Collenette drop-goal attempt slid off his toe.
But front-rower Smith was to prove the unlikely ace in the pack.
Michael Smith, Morgan Sales, Tom Bray, Ed Unden, Chris Croft, Tom Yarwood, John Le Noury, Matt Creber; Ben Holland, Tom Teasdale, Leon Collenette, Phil Le Noury, Cameron Le Prevost,, Will Mason, Tom Stables.
Replacements: George McLellan, Nick Vaudin, Tom Concannon, Harry King, Jean-Luc de Garis, Kieran Creber, Sam Clarke.