England star Farrell leads Harpenden to final place
RFU National Under-17 Competition Harpenden 39 North Walsham 0 HARPENDEN Under 17s blew away a strong North Walsham side with 39 unanswered points to march into the quarter-finals of the RFU National under-17s competition at Redbourn Lane on Sunday.
RFU National Under-17 Competition
Harpenden 39 North Walsham 0
HARPENDEN Under 17s blew away a strong North Walsham side with 39 unanswered points to march into the quarter-finals of the RFU National under-17s competition at Redbourn Lane on Sunday.
The Eastern Counties champions travelled down from Norfolk with high hopes after beating Twickenham in the last round but those hopes were dashed by 70 minutes of clinical finishing, brutal defence and rampaging back-row play by the Men in Black.
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Dougie Norris started the rout after collecting a Jimmy Speirs chip to run in from the 22-metre line. England Under 16s international Owen Farrell converted and the second try was added midway through the second half when Courtney Dodds took advantage of a quick tap penalty by John Collins to touch down in the corner. The half time score was 12-0 to Harpenden.
Farrell, back after featuring for England in the Four Nations tournament in France, kicked a penalty shortly after the restart and five minutes later Dodds scored his second try after good work by Speirs and Louis Gabriel on the break. Farrell converted to make the score 22-0 and added a further penalty a few minutes later.
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With 10 minutes left, Farrell took advantage of an excellent kick and chase by Adam Hills to score a converted try under the posts.
The final score came five minutes later, after Michael Singleton and Speirs combined to create an opening for Farrell to score another converted try under the posts.
This was a stunning performance by a team that showed incredible self-belief to dominate a bigger team through well-organised defence, marshalled by Tom Rhodes, and sheer pace. Harps meet London Irish in the Divisional Final at Woollams on Sunday at 3.30pm.
Harpenden: Jimmy Speirs (captain), Sean Longden, Michael Singleton, Joe Beale, Zac Kent, Rory Grant, David Arbuthnott, George Barnes, John Collins, Jack Cook, Owen Farrell, Tom Rhodes, Dougie Norris, Courtney Dodds, Louis Gabriel, Tris Francis, Gus Williams, Ali Mills, Andrew Brown, Adam Hills.