Barback try secures Honiton Under-12s share of the spoils against OPM
PUBLISHED: 12:35 06 October 2015 | UPDATED: 12:35 06 October 2015
Honiton Under-11s shared 40 points with a well-drilled and powerful OPM side.
With the change of rules, including an introduction of kicking, the coaching team knew the game would be far different from the style of previous years and the tensions were there.
The opening exchanges suggested the teams were well-matched and there was a period of end-to-end play before OPM who broke the deadlock, breaking through a couple of tackles before touching down in the corner.
Honiton won possession from the restart and, after a series of great phases, vice-captain Issac Lidster powered over to restore parity.
The half continued on an even keel with OPM again breaking through before Honiton captain James Goodman showing his superior skill broke half a dozen tackles to level the score sending the teams into the break on level terms.
The second half kicked off as ferocious as the first, with both teams giving their all. Once again OPM struck first. However, again the response was good and James Goodman, orchestrating things at number 10, showed great composure and intelligence in his decision making and broke the OPM defensive line before offloading to Archie Hawkins who broke through the OPM lines to level things up.
The game continued at pace, before once again some missed tackles allowed OPM to edge the lead with just five minutes remaining!
Honiton once more persisted with heads up, and some impressive phases of play were rewarded by a determined and powerful chase of a kick from deep in their own half led to an OPM mistake and Alex Barback effected a superb pickup and dash for the line and score – just reward for his match-long flurry of yard making runs.
That proved to be the end of the scoring in what was a terrific contest.
The Honiton Man of the Match award went to Zac Lancaster who demonstrated some impressive aggressive defensive work, landing some intense tackles breaking OPM momentum and allowing the Titans to keep position with the volume of rucks hit.
Coach Simon Lancaster said: “The team performed effortlessly, first game of the season and looked solid! As a team we are looking forward to the season ahead.”