Ealing Trailfinders hooker Josh Elliott may not have been entirely clear where he was as he was being driven towards the Plymouth Albion line last Friday night, but by tucking into the rolling maul and scoring his first try for the club he gave Ealing’s fans something to cheer on a cold, damp night.
Elliott started and finished the move that ensured Ealing didn’t end the match without any points against the Devonians. First he hit jumper Adam Preocanin in the lineout and then like all good hookers bound himself onto the back of the maul and fell onto the ball once the pack had crossed the Albion whitewash.
“I didn’t really see where the line was, I just heard a load of the boys shouting,” he admitted. “I thought I would just make sure I fell on the ball to make sure it hit the deck and then I heard everyone cheering, so I was happy, but honestly I had no idea where the line was. I was lost in the middle of the maul.”
The Friday Nights Light fixture was another tough encounter against a side that is well-established in the Greene King IPA Championship and that features two players, in scrum-half Ruairi Cushion and Number 8 Rhys Oakley, who will play for the Barbarians against the Combined Services on Tuesday night.
Even so there were times in the match when Ealing’s attack had the side from the south-west rocking and only desperate defence from the visitors stopped the hosts getting on the scoresheet earlier in the evening.
“It was good to get some points, but we’ve got to be more clinical in the red zone,” Elliott added. “The boys know that in the first half with lineouts and scrums we need to be more clinical and smarter.
“It is really frustrating for the lads because we all put in a shift, but you’ve got to take it on the chin and move on and keep improving, so it was good that the lineout worked and it is something we could take into next week.”
The 22-year-old Elliott has been involved far more in the first team than he expected. He joined from Bath University in the summer, but was given his chance earlier than first thought after injury to some of his front-row brethren.
“At the beginning I wasn’t expecting to play much at all and while I don’t wish injuries on anyone, injuries allowed me to progress up the team,” he said.
“I’ve tried to take my opportunities when they’ve come and play as well as I can. While I know there are things I can improve I just want to do the best for the team and play as well as I can.”