Ooh la la! Verulamians overcome London French

Josh Lawrence goes over for Verulamians first try. Picture: KEVIN LINES

Josh Lawrence goes over for Verulamians first try. Picture: KEVIN LINES - Credit: Archant

Verulamians moved into fourth place in the Herts/Middlesex One table after a 21-13 victory over London French.

It was a result which was never really in doubt, despite two yellow cards leaving Vees a man short for the final 20 minutes of the game.

Josh Lawrence set them on their way, with Ben Russell and Alex Ricci adding to the try count.

Russell kicked all three conversions, an impressive feat considering the very strong crosswind.

Coach Tom Ross was a happy man at the final whistle.

He said: “In the first half we were in the ascendancy and playing some decent rugby in some testing wind but we sort of fell apart and made it hard for ourselves.

“Two yellow cards really doesn’t help and we have to look at ourselves for discipline.

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“But the positives are we got the victory.”

French, made up predominantly of a strong Gallic contingent, had an early penalty blown wide of the posts in the first few minutes but it would be the last time they threatened until a more successful attempt at the posts, right on the stroke of half-time.

In between Vees held the upper hand, choosing to move the ball when they could.

The opening try though came from the doggedness of the forwards.

A series of short drives took the hosts close before Lawrence finished off from a few yards.

The backs got their reward for their positive play three minutes later, Russell finding a gap in the stretched French defence on the left wing.

But despite a number of good breaks and well-executed catch and drive moves, Vees couldn’t extend their lead further.

And moments after Daniel Barnes saw yellow for a high tackle, French grabbed the first of their tries.

Stubborn defence from Verulamians kept them well away from adding another but with Barnes about to return to the pitch, Vees prop Joe Brace replaced him in the sin-bin after an altercation at a scrum.

Vees though secured their win with eight minutes to go.

Ricci galloped down the wing and his kick ahead looked to have been mopped up by the retreating French defence.

However, a great tackle under the posts by Levi White forced the ball loose and Ricci was the grateful recipient.

French added a late score but the missed conversion meant neither side finished with a bonus point.

Verulamians head into the Christmas break with two tough fixtures against the top two sides in the division.

And Ross thinks his side are more than capable of snatching two wins.

The coach said: “We’re high enough in the league to keep pressing and pushing the teams above us.

“We want to back ourselves; we work a lot on our skills. We want to play rugby and enjoy it.

“That’s something we’ll keep working on and when it comes together, we know we can take anyone in this league.”