Ealing Trailfinders 1871
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Sat 18
1871 2nds
London New Zealand Kiwis
C Nolan-Hutchinson (3)
J Hobbs, M Viviani (2), T Holt
C Nolan-Hutchinson (2)
1871 2nds 28 London New Zealand Kiwis 21

1871 2nds 28 London New Zealand Kiwis 21

By Rob Williams
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1871 2nds secure fine victory in keenly contested game against strong London NZ opposition

The 1871 edged a close game in the Middlesex Merit Table largely thanks to the reliable boot of fly half Callum Nolan-Hutchinson, on a bright but cold mid-January day.

Fielding a powerful pack with debutant Chris Ward on the flank, Ealing put their opponents under early pressure, resulting in 3 points from a penalty. Another score looked likely, but wing Matthew Lacour was adjudged to be in an offside position when intercepting a Kiwi pass and accelerating towards the try line, and the visitors restored parity with the resultant penalty. The Kiwis enjoyed a period of ascendancy, with ill-discipline resulting in a succession of penalties in their favour and a 6-3 lead with a quarter of the game gone. Ealing eventually started to secure more possession, and a perfectly judged cross-field kick by Nolan-Hutchinson was expertly collected by full back Jack Hobbs wide on the left. The try was converted, giving Ealing a 10-6 lead, but the competitive Kiwis hit back within 3 minutes with a converted try by their own full back. The game see-sawed back in Ealing’s favour when a counter-attack from deep was well finished by centre Manuel Viviani. The conversion and another penalty for the Kiwis on the stroke of half-time left the interval score at 17-16 to Ealing.

The closeness of the contest and a high penalty count meant that kicks were likely to prove crucial, not least when the referee ruled that Nolan-Hutchinson’s penalty attempt on 47 minutes was successful despite the doubts of the touch judges. With Ealing’s forward dominance yielding a high penalty count, another successful attempt at goal pushed the lead out to 23-16. With 13 minutes to go, London New Zealand exploited some weak tackling to move within 2 points, but the conversion that would have tied the scores was missed. In a frantic final few minutes, and with any score sufficient to win the game for the visitors, a Kiwi attack was turned over by a thumping tackle by Ealing 2nd row David Vater. The Kiwis pack buckled under huge pressure at the resultant scrum, and scrum half Lucas Brathwaite’s quickly taken penalty pushed Ealing deeper into opposition territory. With just 2 points separating the sides a kick at goal from another penalty awarded soon afterwards would have made victory safer, but a tap penalty was taken, and replacement wing Toby Holt squeezed in at the left corner for a fine try. The attempted conversion hit the crossbar, Nolan-Hutchinson’s first miss after 5 successful kicks.

The victory was built on a strong team performance, but coach Mark Percival’s man of the match was flanker Liam Woolford, closely followed by 2nd row Matt Speight.

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Match details

Match date

Sat 18, Jan 2020



Meet time



Meet 11.30 in changing rooms for team meeting. Game on 4G. Manager for the day Paul Hoban 07534910892


Division 1
Liam Woolford

Star Player

Liam Woolford