Solid start for Tabard as they stroll to opening day win over Hitchin
- Credit: Archant
Tabard bagged three tries as they began the new London North West Three season with a convincing 23-5 home win over newly-promoted Hitchin.
Captain Jack Reilly, Tom King and hooker Leo Weinstein on his debut got the scores while the skipper also landed eight points with the boot.
And while there will be areas that need work as well as the disappointment of missing out on a fourth try and subsequent bonus point, those are just minor points in the grand scheme of things and a win straight off the bat will be a huge confidence boost for the Radlett-based rugby club.
Tabard were unfortunate not to get points on the board from their very first attack but an offside denied them the five points.
Hitchin cleared to touch but Tabard secured the ball and forced the visitors to concede a penalty in front of the posts, meat and drink for Reilly.
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Hitchin had a much heavier pack and were able to disrupt the home sides scrum, winning a penalty in doing so, but were unable to secure their own ball at the line-out.
And after Aaron Priscott and Cam O'Connor were stopped just short, Reilly picked up and drove over for the first try on 18 minutes.
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Hitchin attacked from the restart but an interception by O'Connor prevented a score and instead Priscott came away with the ball.
A nasty injury picked up in the tackle ended the game early and forced Tabard into a restructure, scrum-half Kenny moving to number eight and Harry Gough coming on.
Hitchin were hanging on as the home side built the pressure and conceding several penalties before Tabard were able to find Tom King in space on the wing.
He stepped his man and went in at the corner, Reilly's conversion moving the score to 15-0.
King almost added the third but when he was hauled down just short, hooker Weinstein was on hand to burrow over just before half time.
Tabard added to their tally immediately after the restart when Hitchin came in from the side at a ruck in front of the posts.
Reilly easily landed the kick but they couldn't get another and great spirit throughout from Hitchin was finally rewarded with an unconverted try of their own.
Tabard will look to build on this when they go to Royston on Saturday.