Brighton College, after losing to Dulwich College the previous week, returned to winning ways with a 50 point haul against Trinity School, Croydon.
Brighton had made a strong comeback in their last game at Dulwich after the South London side had started the stronger but were unable to close the points difference. This week they were by far the quicker out of the blocks as Trinity were slow starters, possibly hampered by a truncated warm-up after they had been delayed by traffic from the Brighton vs Spurs game.
After securing the kick-off Brighton kicked clear to halfway, where excellent chasing by centre Alex Clayton saw the Quins EPDG member gather and burst through to run clear and score on the right, fly-half Kit Evans converting. Trinity hit back almost immediately, recovering the restart and winning a penalty in midfield, Fly-half Sam Heape duly took the three points from the tee.
With No 8 Sam Adu, converted from playing on the wing for the second XV a year ago, carrying strongly, Brighton took play into the Trinity 22. Although good defence saw the possession turned over, Trinity were penalised and Evans looked to stretch the lead from the tee. His kick struck the post and stayed out, but although the defence recovered possession they were again penalised. This time Brighton elected to run, and prop Ben Bishop showed impressive pace to burst through and score on the right. Evans’ touchline conversion attempt was successful.
The visitors now struggled for possession. Although good defence held Brighton on halfway for several plays, a penalty was conceded and a maul set up from the ensuing line out on the right. When the ball was moved through the hands to the left, Clayton combined with full back Austin Emens and wing George Jeavons. A try looked likely, but excellent work at the breakdown by Trinity saw them recover and Heape clear to halfway.
The respite was short-lived. After another strong carry by Adu play was taken up to the 22, where powerfully built prop Hunter Bailey broke through tackles and burst clear. It looked as if he might have the pace to make it to the line, but he was stopped just short, offloading to Evans who scored under the posts, adding the simple conversion himself.
The athletic Brighton backs were now finding running space and Jeavons, showing the pace one would expect of a former Sussex Schools 200m champion, found an excellent line to burst through down the left. The cover defence did a good job to get back and stop him 5m out, but possession was retained and, when the ball was switched to the right, Adu crashed over in the corner. The touchline conversion attempt was well struck but just missed.
There was time for one more score before the interval. Centre Hugo Hughes burst through in midfield and looked set to run to the line, but was just caught by the ankles and a scrum was conceded. Although Trinity won possession from that, the clearance kick was run back by Adu, but excellent work at the breakdown by flanker Ayooluwa Onabulu halted the attack. However, after possession had again been kicked away, there was no stopping Bishop who showed tremendous pace to elude tackles and run in his second try under the posts, Evans converting.
HT: Brighton College 33-3 Trinity
The team talk during the interval appeared to have a positive effect on the visitors, and they started the second half in determined fashion, with some of the replacements making an impact from the bench. After a break by wing Joshua Palmer a penalty was won inside the Brighton half, leading to an attacking lineout on the right. Unfortunately, the ball was overthrown and Brighton recovered possession, but, after good work by replacement scrum-half Sam Leeves, the Trinity forwards took play up to the 22. Captain Christopher Lipczynski and hooker Massimo Costa combined effectively close to the line where Trinity were awarded a scrum, and further pressure saw Onabulu dive over to score on the right. The conversion attempt hit the post but stayed out.
Trinity continued to enjoy better field position and another break to half way by Leeves was taken on by props Moya Ayokun and Daniel Vickers, but possession was lost and Brighton counter-attacked. After good handling on the left, a well weighted grubber kick was collected by Adu who scored under the posts, Evans converting.
The South London side worked hard for another try, second row Alex Connaughton making some hard yards in midfield, but it was Brighton who scored again, After a strong carry from the back of a line-out by second row Elliott Powell, the ball again came to Adu who broke through for his third try. There was still time for one last try by the home side, Clayton making ground in midfield before Hughes was put though to score on the left.
Brighton face a tricky visit to RGS High Wycombe in preparation for their regular participation in the St Joseph’s Festival, while Trinity will wish to regroup for their Cup fixture against local rivals Whitgift.
FT: Brighton College 50-8 Trinity
By Peter Crawshaw
Brighton College: Hunter Bailey, Archie Mullins, Ben Bishop, Elliott Powell (Vice-Capt), Cameron Kinross, Misha Agureev, Sam Graves, Sam Adu (Vice-Capt), Archie Haines-Moss , Capt), Kit Evans (Vice-Capt), George Jeavons, Alex Clayton (Vice-Capt), Hugo Hughes, James Pavey, Austin Emens.
Replacements: Alexander Pert, Daniel Grant, Ben Goode.
Trinity: Daniel Vickers, Massimo Costa, Moya Ayokun, Alex Connaughton, Louis Quarendon, Shola Adesina, Ayooluwa Onabulu, Seun Ogunyemi, Harrison Friday, Sam Heape, Joshua Palmer, Christopher Lipczynski (Capt), Luca Owen, Thomas Willcox, Archie Warren.
Replacements: Francis Oben, Herb Macpherson, Sam Leeres.