RUGBY: Crawley can’t find their best in horrid weather

Crawley Rugby Club's Andy Evans in action against Seaford. Picture courtesy of John Walton SUS-150323-175458002
Crawley Rugby Club's Andy Evans in action against Seaford. Picture courtesy of John Walton SUS-150323-175458002
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Hellingly 12 Crawley 0

There are two things you can’t control in rugby: the referee and the weather.

On Saturday away at Hellingly the referee had a good solid game.

The weather however was terrible as the tail of storm Abigail whipped Sussex with a vengeance.

Add to this Hellingly’s small and muddy pitch and the winners would definitely be the team that adapted to the conditions the best, and that is exactly what the home team did.

With a pack that looked at least a 5kg per man heavier than the Crawley pack, they shunned using their backs and stuck to a tight nine-man driving game through-out that may not have been very attractive but it was effective.

Crawley, playing the first half straight into the howling gale, tried to bring their whole team into the game.

The conditions simply did not suit this style and when ball was turned over the home team would grind their way down the pitch using their huge pack.

As the half wore on the home team crept closer and closer to the tryline and eventually the pressure told and they scored in the corner following several phases of forward drives.

Crawley regrouped from the re-start and for a short while kept the home team pinned in their half.

Hellingly though simply stuck to their guns and used what little ball they got to great effect and drove back with phase after phase of forward drives.

As the half drew to a close,

Hellingly mounted another assult and were rewarded with a converted try to lead 12–0 at the turn.

At this point the soggy visiting supporters thought that with the storm winds now directly behind them Crawley should be able to overcome this deficit and it was game-on.

Unfortunately it was not to be the case. Hellingly now completely shut shop and whenever they got the ball they did not offer up many opportunities to turn it over meaning Crawley spent many frustrating minutes stuck in the middle of the pitch.

Crawley ended the strongest but they just could not break the home defence and the game ended as it was at half-time with a 12–0 win to the home team.