Rugby: Tabard left empty handed against London Welsh

Verulamians V Tabard - Aled Davies in action for Tabard.
Picture: Karyn Haddon

Verulamians V Tabard - Aled Davies in action for Tabard. Picture: Karyn Haddon - Credit: Archant

Tabard were left empty-handed after losing 26-18 against London Welsh in a highly entertaining London Three North West contest.

The home side contributed to their own downfall with some soft penalties in the first half, none more so than at a lineout after Reilly had put Tabard back in touch with a well struck penalty.

The home side’s scrum looked solid from the start and brought earlier chances that went to touch however the bigger Welsh lineout was able to deal with Tabard’s attack and clear their lines.

Welsh scored first as they chipped through and charged down a clearance for a try on 20 minutes. And their second try came after an unnecessary challenge in the air at a lineout allowed them to kick deep into Tabard territory where a catch and drive move delivered.

Another relatively soft penalty allowed Welsh to kick to the other corner and, despite Tabard’s best efforts, they drove over for a third try.

The hosts were grateful to second row Will James for stealing Welsh lineout ball just before half time, allowing Tabard the chance to clear their lines and regroup.

And James set the tone for a more determined show in the second half as he made good ground to tackle the Welsh winger after an overlap.

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Confidence began to spread through the team as the pack won another penalty and Mark Salteras cut a lovely line only for the ball to slip from his grasp.

Welsh went back to their lineout and claimed a fourth try, as Tabard took a yellow card and found themselves 26-3 down after 50 minutes.

Tabard rallied and forced the visitors to concede three penalties, with a good tackle by Aaron Priscott seeing the ball turned over and passed infield to Jack Reilly who ran through a gap and sent a long pass to Dan Calnan to run in from 30 metres.

Reilly made good ground again before finding Calnan on the other side of the pitch to score in the corner and make it 26-13 and a tired looking Welsh side put the restart straight into touch.

Another penalty allowed Reilly to put the ball in the corner and James secured the lineout to set up a drive and try for Stanley Gough, but the conversion was missed.

Tabard: B Lake, J Tilley, W Lake, G Hurford, W James, J Hancock, T Gough, A Priscott, L Kenny, H Gough, M Salteras, J Reilly, A Davies, C Sandison, D, Olashore. Substitutes: J Van Loen, S Gough, D Calnan.