Last year Haileybury enjoyed a strong season, but the challenge is always to start again with a new set of players. That challenge began for them on Saturday with a trip to Royal Hospital School.
In a hard fought contest Haileybury emerged victorious with a win built on solid defence and a dominant set-piece. The visitors were clinical and whenever they got a chance they took it.
After falling 3-0 down to a penalty Haileybury scored the first try through wing Will Sawyer with a fine interception. Another try soon followed after strong carries by Kivindyo Phoenix Healy put Will Reed over for a try on debut.
RHS came back strongly but some strong defence and a great turnover from the outstanding McGurk held them at bay. It looked as though the visitors could get on top of RHS but the hosts got an interception of their own before a stunning cover tackle by Jake Ratcliffe meant that the line wasn’t breached, leaving Haileybury 10-3 ahead at the break.
Haileybury’s driving maul got on top in the second half and caused havoc in the home ranks. This led to Sam Hurding scoring a fine try from a series of mauls and pick and goes.
The last try of the game was a peach from the outstanding McGurk who scored a classic back row try, making a pass and following up in support to cross. This move included fine play from Sawyer and an incredible offload by Hurding.
Ed Holroyd and Matt Cook were outstanding but man of the match honours went to the tireless Kyle Roomans and the superb Harry Jinks at scrum half. Both typified Haileybury’s dogged and determined performance.
It represents a good start to the season forHaileybury and will set the visitors up well for the bigger challenges that lie ahead. Royal Hospital School meanwhile ought to look ahead with confidence having held their own against a side that made big strides last season.
Full Time: Royal Hospital School 3-22 Haileybury