RUGBY: Crawley gain second success with win against Hove

Crawley Rugby Club SUS-150727-125518002
Crawley Rugby Club SUS-150727-125518002

Crawley made it two wins out of two in the league so far with a comfortable yet frustrating 64-26 win over Hove II.

In wonderful conditions for fast rugby, Crawley started the game in tremendous form.

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

With scrum half Steve Wilson storming around the park ably supported by Kieran Cunningham and Ross Keeley, Crawley played with a flair and swagger that had the supporters buzzing.

Time and time again they swept forward, inter-changing passes, swapping angles and keeping the ball alive at the break down that it looked like Hove were chasing shadows.

Sure enough during this period of complete control they were racking up a point a minute with Wilson, Cunningham, and lock Rob Gilliat bagging a couple of tries each before the break.

It was not all down to backs either. The forwards had complete control at the breakdown with Harrison Dean, Kieran Gosling and Ollie Hall causing problems for the opposition all game.

As for Hove, they had their backs against the wall from the start and they could have caved in completely, but plug away they did and eventually before half- time they were rewarded with a well taken try to leave Crawley 40 points to 7 up at the change.

Those expecting Crawley to continue in the same vein in the second half were in for a shock.

All the good things from the first half seemed to disappear and in its place was a scrappy, messy, stop-start game.

This gave Hove the opportunity to get a foothold in the match and they started to make things uncomfortable for the home side. It really was a game of two halves.

No longer did Crawley have control of the game and now traded equal blows with Hove. Each time Crawley would score Hove would fight back and score themselves.

It was now far from being the completely comfortable walkover Crawley expected.

Substitutions and yellow cards for both teams further unsettled the match and it all became a little fragmented.

Eventually with 15 minutes of the match remaining Crawley started to gain control again and some of confidence and swagger of the first half finally returned.

The highlight of this section was another try for Wilson following some neat inter-play and a lovely soft pass by debutant prop Michael Wiltshire, showing that pops can pass the ball as well.

In the end Crawley the game ended 64–26 to Crawley.

The home team had comfortably won the first half and the last 15 minutes but they do need to address the three-quarter problems because against better teams dips like this could be very costly.

Crawley: Dean Riley, Harry Mansfield, Andy Wilson, Rob Gilliat, Keiran Gosling, Harrison Dean, Cian Morgan-Smith, Oliver Hall, Steve Wilson, Andy Evans (Capt), Ross Keeley, Paddy Quigley, Richard Hewitt, Kieran Cunningham, Joe Callus, Subs Michael Wiltshire, Dave Bevan, Elliot Hamilton