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On a crisp sunny day, Surrey U15s entertained Hampshire at Haslemere RFC. This was a dual header, with the Surrey Development U15 also playing a Hampshire select.

Though clearly nervous, the newly formed County squad had trained well and looking forward to the challenge.

The games started positively, with both teams trying to play open rugby, but defences of both teams holding firm. Whilst Surrey started to gain the majority of territory and possession, it was Hampshire who were able to make breaks through the defensive line and put Surrey on the back foot.

Surrey were competing well in the breakdown, winning a number of penalties. Again, the Hampshire defence held firm and Surrey were unable to get any points. The first points of the game arrived when Surrey infringed at the breakdown and the Hampshire 10 comfortably slotted the ball over for a 0-3 lead.

With most of the play stuck in the middle of the pitch, there were very little opportunities to score and the half ended 0-3 in favour of Hampshire.

The second half started with Surrey again obtaining greater territory and possession, but Hampshire were becoming more of a threat, especially at set piece. From a scrum on the Surrey 22, Hampshire were able to put the ball through the hands and score in the corner. The conversion was successful, making the score 0-10.

With the next score essential, Surrey started to up the tempo, but poor positioning in the ruck meant Hampshire were able to slow the ball down and disrupt Surreys game. This change of tempo did pay off with Surrey getting over the line. The unsuccessful conversation left the score 5-10.

From here the game swung in Hampshires favour, with them winning the possession and territory battle. Further mistakes from Surrey lead to Hampshire scoring a brace of unconverted tries, making the score 5-20.

Surrey continued to get over the try line, but a stubborn Hampshire defence held firm and the game finished 5-20.

It was an excellent game of rugby with Hampshire deserving winners. Surrey put in a dogged performance but consequently Hampshire won the contact area and more effective on turnover ball. Surrey will no doubt learn from this experience and look forward to visiting Sussex in a few weeks.

Surrey County U15 Squad

1 Joe Toguri
Tomlinscote School
London Irish ARFC

2 Taine Wagstaff
Whitgift School
Old Caterhamians RFC

3 Brandon Baker (C)
Matthew Arnold School
London Irish ARFC

4 Hugh Tizard
Guildford County
Guildfordians RFC

5 Jonathan Davies
London Welsh RFC

6 Toby Conisbee
Howard of Effingham
Effingham & Leatherhead RFC

7 Kwesi Effina-Williams
Rutlish School
Old Rutlishians RFC

8 Alfie Ransom
Grey Court School
Teddington RFC

9 Ben Payne
John Fisher School
Warlingham RFC

10 Finlay Savill
Epsom College
Cobham RFC

11 Charlie Engsted
Gordons School
Chobham RFC

12 Daniel Bell
City Of London Freemen’s
Effingham & Leatherhead RFC

13 Zuriel Makele
Trinity School

14 Corin Becksmith
Royal Alexandra & Albert
Battersea Ironsides RFC

15 Lucas Smyth
Rutlish School
Old Rutlishians RFC

16 Louie Johnson
Glyn School
Battersea Ironsides RFC

17 Connor McGrath
Trinity School
Chipstead RFC

18 James Ford
Wallington County Grammar
Sutton & Epsom RFC

19 Taino Goveia
Whitgift School
Warlingham RFC

20 Frank Horsfield
Wellington College
Chobham RFC

21 Rory Hazelton
Whitgift School
East Grinstead RFC

22 Guy Collins
Tonbridge School
Warlingham RFC

Lee Paine

Surrey U15 Manager