Folkestone U12 made the long trip to the Allianz Park, home of Premiership side Saracens
By Alex Ruddock
The game against Harrow U12's was to be played at half time of the Saracens vs. Gloucester Premiership match, in front of a crowd just shy of 8,000.
Folkestone U12’s 10 Harrow U12’s 0
Report from Jon Morton.
On Sunday 27th November Folkestone made the long trip to the Allianz Park, home of Premiership side Saracens, for a fixture against Harrow. The game was to be played at half time of the Saracens vs. Gloucester Premiership match, in front of a crowd just shy of 8,000.
Folkestone had played Harrow once before, in a narrow loss of a heart-breaking semi-final last season. Harrow were clearly the larger side, and were able to maintain possession despite the best efforts of the Green and Whites. Folkestone had little option but to defend aggressively and patiently, and they did so to a very high standard. Harrow were becoming increasingly frustrated with getting hit backwards, as every single Folkestone player put their body on the line.
Unfortunately, Folkestone captain Maddox Francis, got his head the wrong side of the tackle, and had to leave the pitch to be assessed for a head injury. It was evident he was concussed so he was seen to by professionals in the dead ball area. The Saracens team were excellent in looking after him, and he was not rushed off the pitch – in fact the second half of the Premiership game (which was being broadcast live on BT Sport) was delayed by 10 minutes as he received the best possible care. Our thanks and gratitude go to all the Saracens RFC staff who helped, and the patience of the senior players waiting to resume their match. Maddox was taken to Barnet hospital where he was given the all clear, and returned home later that evening.
The Folkestone match did continue while Maddox was receiving treatment. Folkestone only had the ball three times, but managed to score twice. The first play went through a number of hands before eventually reaching Harry Dean on the wing, who was too quick and strong for the Harrow team, and he crossed the line to finish an excellent try. The second try was a fantastic individual effort from Woody Faiers. A big tackle from Ryen Morton, which also resulted in him leaving the field, led to a turnover in the ruck area. Woody got the ball deep in his own half and weaved his way through the Harrow defence, to score in the corner.
Folkestone ended the game battered and bruised, but 2-0 winners against a very strong side. The parents and coaches are immensely proud of this young side. Their behaviour and the way they play are a real credit to Folkestone Rugby Club.
Maddox Francis (Capt), George Foord, Joshua Perez, James Denney, Ryen Morton, Kieran Niewoudt, Harry Dean, Edward “Woody” Faiers, Connor Horne, Luke Baigent, Bradley Dorrell, Jared Hayes, Lewis Wade.