Bonus-point win for Harpenden at OMTs
- Credit: Archant
Harpenden erased the disappointment of their home defeat the previous Saturday against Hammersmith and Fulham with their eighth bonus-point win of the season at Old Merchant Taylors.
And although victories by all their promotion rivals keeps them in fifth place in London Two North West, they are only three points behind second-placed Chiswick and so perfectly poised to capitalise should any teams above them slip up in the final weeks of the season.
Harps captain Michael Goode said: “This was a good performance; we scored some good tries in the first half and there were a number of notable performances across the park. When we stuck to our game plan we did very well.”
Relishing a superb playing surface and the spring-like weather, Harps began in impressive fashion with two tries inside the first 10 minutes. The first was from centre Tom Stagg and the second by full back Conor McClean, which was converted by John Collins.
OMTs hit back with a try of their own on 15 minutes by prop Gavin Long, but their joy was shortlived as Harps wing Yannick Green touched down a minute later after a storming break by second row Zac Kent. Collins added the extras.
OMTs, however, enjoyed more possession which resulted in a try on 33 minutes by second row Jon Collins. Again, though, they were brought down to earth a few minutes later when Harps flanker Dave Green went over for a try to bring up the bonus point.
Harps then took their foot off the gas to allow OMT flanker Dan Conway to score a third try for the hosts just before the break to peg back the score to 24-15.
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Using the slight slope and the wind to full advantage, OMTs began the second half in determined fashion and for the first 15 minutes they pinned Harps deep in their half. However, Harps were resolute in defence and their hosts were unable to turn their dominance into points.
Having weathered the storm, Harps went on the attack and were rewarded with a try by Kent on 65 minutes when he pounced on a loose ball after Collins, who had moved to scrum-half to replace the injured Adam Wilkinson, tackled his opposite number at the base of a scrum near the OMT line.
Stung into action, OMTs went on the attack again, but although Harps were giving away a series of penalties, poor handling meant were unable to secure the losing bonus point that would have eased their relegations fears.
McClean, Y Green, Hutchins, Stagg, Smith, Collins, Wilkinson, McLoughlin, Sims, Lacey, Rolfe, Kent, D Green, Longden, Goode. Replacements: Ledwidge, Muskett, Peglar