H&B cruise final friendly

Dillon Newell scored four second half tries for H&B
Dillon Newell scored four second half tries for H&B

Hastings & Bexhill ran out comfortable 50-5 winners in their second and final pre-season friendly on Saturday.

The rugby club started sluggishly before eventually overwhelming a mixed Tonbridge Judds side of mature quality and student promise.

The game ended 10 minutes early when a TJ’s player was badly concussed and taken to hospital, but by that time H&B’s inventive backline had started to run them off their feet.

An attacking crossfield kick to the right wing gave Judds an early 5-0 lead, the wing stepping his defender for a textbook score.

But from a good forwards drive at a lineout, Ben Campbell broke through the defence in a set move, perfectly timing his pass to Piers Claughton, who touched down to level the scores.

Tom Waring added to the score with a powerful run down the right wing after good hands through the backline and a third try came when Dillon Newell found Luigi Fagherazzi da Paz, who finished beautifully. The conversion by young fly-half Shane Hart-Jones, making his first XV debut, took the score to 17-5.

In the second half, Newell stepped the defence to take the score to 24-5 with another Hart-Jones conversion. Bruce Steadman broke powerfully down the right wing and with further quick hands, Newell scored again, Hart-Jones converting.

Piers Claughton broke from a scrum and more quick hands ended with Newell’s third try of the half, converted by Hart-Jones, 38-5.

A Kit Claughton break and some more excellent handling with great tidying work by Campbell saw Adams score, Hart-Jones converting, 45-5.

Yet more good foraging work by the pack, and further strong running and handling put Newell in for his fourth try of the half, unconverted, for a 50-5 lead when proceedings were halted.

See Friday’s Hastings and Bexhill Observers for the full article.