Ruislip 5 Vikings 64 Report from Paul Morse
Vikings ruthless at Ruislip
This was an outstanding win for the Vikings. Winning away is hard enough but doing so by fifty nine points after a long January journey is a huge achievement. With their big mobile pack Ruislip were no slouches, and at halftime at 22 - 5 were still in it; the Vikings' second half performance was though superb, six tries adding to the first half's four. Inevitably the win was based on doing the basics incisively but they were so decisive too, spotting, with devastating effect, when attacks could be launched from seemingly unlikely situations.
The game began at high pace and, with both sides keeping the ball in hand and prepared to attack from deep, an early score looked likely. One did not come though until the sixteenth minute, Ryan Oakes diving over following a patient build up. Three tries followed in the next ten minutes. First Ruislip drew level through Mike Reed before Will Hodgson regained the lead with an amazing try, evading or driving through seven potential tackles from forty metres. A try so indicative of the Vikings' qualities then followed: pressure yielded turnover ball deep in their twenty two, defence became attack and after four quick passes Hal Riley galloped over from halfway.
Five minutes before the break they got their fourth, the move again starting in their own twenty two, Harry Downing's long run ultimately leading to Dan Smith scoring; Jake Duffield converted. Then came a key passage of play, the Vikings repelling a five metre lineout, two five metre scrums and numerous drives within three minutes before winning a penalty. 22 -12, with Ruislip just having scored, would have felt very different to 22 - 5 at half time.
Veterans of past Ruislip trips wondered if the lead was sufficient: the pitch's slope was in the home side's favour for the second half. Within a minute of the restart though the lead was extended. From a quick tap penalty fifteen metres inside his half, Duffield made ground and after two breakdowns James Knight found Jim Riley on his inside who burst between two defenders, Duffield converting.
Ruislip attacked determinedly for five minutes but the Vikings were up to the task, Harry Downing, now at scrum half, eventually putting in a long relieving kick. Two tries in three minutes then took the score to 43 -5. A trademark Hodgson run carried on by Will Swart led to a Harry Downing try which he converted himself, as he did the next four - one from the touchline. For the second Hodgson put in a penetrating cross kick, the chase and tackling were exemplary and Ed Sampson burrowed over.
Ruislip then enjoyed their best spell, penning the Vikings back for fifteen minutes but the defence was impeccable and they never looked like scoring. Three converted tries in the final five minutes - Smith, Chalk Hill Brewery Man of the Match Roydon Miller and Duffield - completed the scoring , each showing the speed, support running, passing and off loading that were hallmarks of this memorable victory.
Not prone to hyperbole James Brooks was clearly delighted, "outstanding performance, we were very solid defensively throughout and so clinical in the second half." Following last week's close game with leaders Chingford, the Club clearly still has much to look forward to this season.
Team: 15.Harry Downing 14.Rob King13.Dan Smith12.Hal Riley
11.Jim Riley10.James Knight 9.Jake Duffield1.Acky Downing
2.Lachlan Brown-Bates3.Tom Browes4.Ryan Oakes5.Todd Scotland 6.Roydon Miller 7.Ed Sampson8.Will Hodgson
Will Swart/Acky Downing (46 mins)
Tom Younie/ Duffield (46 mins)
Will Haynes/ Sampson (55 mins)
Acky Downing/Brown - Bates (61 mins)
Duffield/Knight (62 mins)
Brown - Bates/Smith (74 mins)
Tries: Oakes; Hodgson; Hal Riley; Smith (2); Jim Riley; Harry Downing;
Sampson; Miller; Duffield
Conversions: Duffield (2); Harry Downing (5)
Referee: Eoin Simpkins (South East Federation)