Harpenden send Saxons packing as memory of Southend trip is well and truly wiped
- Credit: DANNY LOO
Harpenden destroyed memories of their heaviest defeat of the season with a six-try thumping of Southend Saxons and a 36-13 victory.
They had gone down 53-22 in Essex back in October but this win was the Harps at their rampant best and lifts them up into fourth, just seven points behind second-placed Colchester.
However, for the first 20 minutes or so the final result seemed highly unlikely as Southend dominated both territory and possession.
The momentum swung on 14 minutes in what was the home side's first meaningful attack, flanker Ed Preston rounding off a sweeping move to touch down in the right corner.
The score was very much against of the run of play as Southend continued to enjoy plenty of possession and they were rewarded for their efforts 10 minutes later with first Ben Lloyd kicking a penalty and then winger Tom Day going over for an 8-5 lead.
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From there though Harpenden slowly wrestled control from the visitors and were rewarded with a try from Will Hague-Blundy before Michael Goode scored their third try, converted by their recently arrived South African stand-off Declan Raubenheimer.
That put them 17-8 in front at the start of the second half and they were back on the front foot immediately, Hague-Blundy getting his second and his team's bonus-point score after just five minutes.
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Southend did keep battling and got their final points on 55 minutes with a try from Mitch Bennett on 55 minutes.
But that was as good as it got for the visitors and with Goode again leading by example, and 18-year-old Raubenheimer showing an impressive array of skills, Harpenden continued to boss matters and it was no surprise when Goode went over for a second try.
That was converted by Raubenheimer and he did so again as the home side wrapped things up with a Jimmy Speirs score.
Harps skipper Oli Lacey said: "I am very happy, this is an unbelievable result. We didn't get off to a good start as they put us under a pressure in the opening 20 minutes but we showed a lot of maturity to change the way we played and we were rewarded with a great result."
Harps are next in action at Ruislip on February 15.