Ealing Rugby 1871 vs Old Millhillians 14.12.19
After watching an impressive performance from the Ealing Trailfinders professional side in beating Coventry, it was clear that Ealing 1871 were taking notes and wanted to bring their A game to second in the league Old Millhillians.
It was a tense and cold game, both sides wanted to assert their dominance in the league, and what better place to challenge each other than under the lights at Trailfinders Sports Ground.
It was rather a slow start to the game compared to the previous week. Ealing started with confidence and were switched on from the get-go, an early penalty slotted by Fly Half Enrico Rolfo giving them an early 3-0 lead.
The lineout this season has been strong for the boys in green and there was no change in this game, and a driving maul followed by pick and go’s led to second row Nyall Wake scoring on the right. The conversion was missed, making the score 8-0 to Ealing.
Only five or so minutes later came a second try mirroring the first one: a maul was followed by pick and go’s and prop Thomas Szyszko crashed over to score. The score stayed at 13-0 as the conversion was missed.
Old Millhillians got themselves on the score board with a penalty, before a loose kick to fullback Lewis Steadman allowed him to charge electrifyingly through a broken field and round the Millhillians fullback to score a wonderful try in the corner. The tough conversion was missed, and the score going into the half time break was Ealing 18 Old Millhillians 3.
Whatever the coaching staff said at half time worked, because four minutes into the second half the home side scored again. The man in form, Number 8 Kairo Rodrigo-Payne, picked up from the base of an attacking scrum to notch another try to add to his ever-growing list. Another tough conversion was missed, leaving the score at 23-3.
After a huge defensive effort and some spine shuddering tackles from substitute Oscar Avis, Ealing found themselves once again in the opposition 22. More dominant pick and go’s led to a solid base to attack from, and the backs drew their man and passed the ball to winger Nathan Oti who glided past the last defender to score with ease, 28-3 to Ealing.
The home side took their foot off the gas for a prolonged period of time after scoring the fifth try, and this led to many offside penalties and plenty of opportunities for the away team. Finally, they capitalised after numerous tap and go penalties and scored, and with no conversion added, the score was 28-8.
Based on recent form it would not be unreasonable to expect Kairo Rodrigo-Payne to score a second try, and he did not disappoint. Step 1: A massive 8 man push in the scrum to turn over the ball, Step 2: Chip over the top of the winger, Step 3: Leap into the air and regather your own kick in one hand after an unusually high bounce, Step 4: score the try of the match, potentially even the season. The scored stayed 33-8 until the final whistle blew. An impressive performance all round, and man of the match was a tough decision, but it was awarded jointly to Oscar Avis for the forwards and Lewis Steadman for the backs.
Written by Charlie Watt
Andrew Barton, Liam McDonagh, Thomas Szyszko, Matthew Donnelly, Nyall Wake, Joshua Goddard, Kadeem Collins, Kairo Rodrigo-Payne, Alex Gillespie, Enrico Rolfo, Mir Afzaal Ijaz, Stan Duhamel, Kenenna Chukwuma, Nathan Oti, Lewis Steadman, Pat Nash, Oscar Avis, Kavan Fitzpatrick