St Leonards CP 19
These two sides only met two weeks ago and it was clear that Rye were stung by the defeat, a strong Rye squad faced Ports but for 25 minutes things looked very different.
Ports started with real structure, Rye’s big runners were shackled by big tackling from Mickey Scriven and Josh Storey. Ports controlled the early set-pieces, damaging at the scrum and Dale Whittington dominated at the line-out.
From one of the scrums Henry Hill fed Matt Standen who cut a tight line and dived over. Hill converted.
Rye used their boot but Ashley Diedericks was solid under the high ball, he cleared trouble on a number of occasions before his angled kick was chased down by Will Steele.
The Rye full-back tried recycling the ball before he was stripped of the ball by Scriven who dived over.
Whittington and Storey were important presences at the ruck, both winning ball back.
Ports worked through the phases Jody Freeman and Tom Monks carrying well, Craig Barningham also driving forward before Mark Wright showed real presence of mind to scramble over. Hill again converted.
Ports were in a dominant position but Rye brought on a number of subs who picked up the tempo. A well worked try from some quick movement, and a number of phases put them over for a second.
Rye’s new found impetus also occurred when Ports lost the influential Barningham and Whittington. Rye brought the score back early in the first half, and Ports also lost Monks. This made the set-piece a more even battle.
Scriven, Neil Davie and Tom Ingram made key tackles, and Davie put Ports back on the front foot. Davie and Standen came close but Ports lost the ball when the line beckoned and Rye pulled further ahead.
Key decisions at key moments meant Ports could not fight their way back into the game. Storey and Luke Loving-Price continued to work hard but Rye found space and added scores that burnished the final score.
Coach Paul Smart was succinct but accurate in his summary of the game: “It was a great start, we were 19-0 up in 25 minutes but injuries and running out of steam saw Rye on top this time.”
Ports worked tirelessly the whole game, Diedericks showed flashes of his quality and calm head, Mark Wright put in a solid effort and excelled at the set piece but E-Heat Man of the Match was Josh Storey, he carried well, disrupted at the ruck and tackled fearlessly
15 Hutchins 14 Steele 13 Diedericks 12 Standen 11 Warman 10 Hill 9 Hall (Davie) 1 Freeman 2 Wright 3 Monks (Giles/Barrowclough) 4 Barningham (Wan) 5 Storey (Daniels) 6 Scriven 7 Loving-Price 8 Whittington (Daniels/Ingram)