Greg Foord, George Burnie, Alfie Hill, Rob Lee, Dom Horn, Will Tobin, Rhys Edwards, Ned Sweeney, Wil Patterson, Will Appleton, Luke Jagger, Alex Potts, Ben Barnett, Pat Dore, Matt Carr, Herbie Gale, Sam Hygate, and Adam Skyner.
OEs played with the wind in the first half so hoped to take advantage of this if at all possible. The difference in the Pack sizes would also have a bearing and with the lineout not functioning as well as normal it could prove to be a long afternoon for Es. That coupled with a high penalty count and a number of uncharacteristic mistakes certainly didn't help.
Initially the scrum seemed to work well until an early exit of Rob Lee due to injury. Slowly Longlevens applied pressure upfront and the E's scrum capitulated a number of times. However Longlevens probably didn't take advantage of this or at least either they applied their weight advantage in the wrong areas of the pitch or indeed the E's defence stood firm, probably a mixture of both. However it was a bit of a surprise when Longlevens took the lead from a move that started from a kick through from a messy E's lineout on the Longlevens twenty two, but the hack through ended up over Es Goal Line with Longlevens touching down (0-7).
Es slowly clawed their way back into the game with a successful penalty kick from Luke Jagger (3-7).
Then defending Es own line the forwards seemed to find some inner strength to avoid a push over try for Longlevens. However despite Es finishing the half with some enterprising running rugby what looked like stupid mistakes robbed us just short of their try line. Half Time score (3-7).
Half Time talk was all about how Longlevens might take advantage of the wind in the second half! However the first to draw blood in the second half was Es with a further Jagger penalty kick taking the score to (6-7).
Es then survived several waves of Longlevens pressure with several turnovers and clearance kicks relieving the pressure. Probably though, the second half will be remembered for chances that got away, a knock on over the line, a penalty kick miss both could have seen a different result. Both sides saw the colour of the referees cards a Red for Longlevens and a Yellow for Es but neither seemed to affect the outcome of the game greatly although Longlevens kicked a penalty changing the score to (6-10).
This is how it finished - a hard fought game that saw Es gaining a single losing bonus point keeping them in sixth place in the league. As pointed out by Chairman Dom Swann – the last time we lost at Hallen was 6th April 2019, well done for an amazing run.
Next week is a rest for the 1st XV before a trip to Gloucester the week after to play Old Cryptians RFC.
Penalties: Jagger (2)