Pulborough skipper Burfiend salutes ‘big win’ as they fell leaders to go third

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Pulborough captain Simon Burfiend boasted a ‘big win’ as they climbed up to third in London 3 South East with a 35-28 home win over leaders Cranbrook.

The skipper, however, also pointed out that with his side leading 35-15 in the closing stages, they must cut out conceding late tries - which handed their visitors a bonus point and kept them top.

Burfiend said: “It was a big win for us in terms of the league, especially considering we were losing at half-time, mainly due to the vast amazing of penalties we conceded. But the boys came out at half-time firing and I’m really proud of the way we turned the game around.

“Giving away soft tries at the tail end of matches, resulting in our opponents gaining bonus points is something that needs to be addressed. If we did not concede the late try this week and the late try the week before against OD’s we would find ourselves pretty at the top of the table.

“With the league looking competitive as ever, bonus points will play a huge part in the table at the end of the season and is something we need to be more aware of.”

The visitors struck first with a nicely-slotted penalty, before the hosts stole the ball from a Cranbrook scrum on the 22 to score their first points. A solid shove from the pack saw Cranbrook on the back foot and Ollie Paige charged down the kick, which was scooped up by Dan Bullock to score and Frazer Oliphant-Hope added the extras.

Cranbrook took control for large parts of the remainder of the half and their kicker kept the scoreboard ticking over. They dived over for a try, before Oliphant-Hope kicked a penalty to keep Horsham in touch at 16-10 at the break.

In the second half, Dan Paige collected the ball on the halfway line, stepped his first man and then weaved his way through the defence until he crossed the whitewash.

Ollie Paige then stepped through the Cranbrook line and beat the full-back to touch down under the posts. Oliphant-Hope again converted and then added two penalties to establish a 28-16 lead.

With Cranbrook a man down due to a high tackle, Pulborough went on the attack again and Ben Miller came charging onto the ball to get the bonus point try which was converted by Oliphant-Hope.

Cranbook, however, took the opportunity of their hosts’ tired legs to run in two late tries and grab a bonus point.

Pulborough: Blunden, Denman, Clay, Nicholls, Reed, Bullock, Jack Leddra, Chenoweth, O.Paige, F.Oliphant-Hope, Akers, Burfiend, Hoey, Miller, D.Paige. Subs: Turner, G.Oliphant-Hope, Joe Leddra.

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