Tabard hold on for win despite Grasshoppers' second half fightback
PUBLISHED: 09:16 12 November 2009 | UPDATED: 14:39 06 May 2010
London League Two NW Grasshoppers 16 Tabard 32 A DELIBERATE knock-on, completely overlooked by the referee, which led directly to a try, rocked Tabard s composure on Saturday. Grasshoppers had a resurgence that threatened to take the game away from Tabard
London League Two NW
Grasshoppers 16 Tabard 32
A DELIBERATE knock-on, completely overlooked by the referee, which led directly to a try, rocked Tabard's composure on Saturday.
Grasshoppers had a resurgence that threatened to take the game away from Tabard but they recovered and fought back to eventually win by 32 points to 16.
After a first half that had seen Tabard go 25 points clear, the incident happened two minutes into the second half.
Grasshoppers had just got their first score of the game - a penalty kicked by their scrum half Hughes - when Tabard had gained a line out close to Grasshoppers try line.
The ball was won cleanly and passed out to the threequarters but an encroaching Grasshopper going for an almost impossible interception deliberately knocked on. The ball hit the ground and bounced straight back into his hands. As he accelerated away the Tabard players hesitated too long and the try was eventually run in by the Grasshopper wing, Easton.
This sparked a revival by Grasshoppers and their powerful runners began to severely test the Tabard defence as Grasshoppers first got another penalty from Hughes and then their pressure was rewarded when their wing Woodhouse went over in the corner, to put them back into the game, at Tabard 25 to Grasshoppers 16.
Fortunately Tabard held their nerve and began to put their game back together.
Centre Gerald Arasa had some inspirational runs before going off injured and with 15 minutes to go scrum half Andy Murphy made a huge break from under his own posts.
Although he was stopped Tabard recycled the ball, stand off Jack Reilly put in a probing kick and the Grasshoppers full back was caught holding on. Tabard took the penalty quickly and number eight, Scott Stoba was in under the posts to give Reilly an easy conversion for what proved to be the final score of the game, giving victory to Tabard by 32 points to 16.
In the first half Tabard quickly established scrummage supremacy with the entire front five working hard. From this platform Grasshoppers had to defend forcefully and Reilly kicked two penalties to put Tabard ahead.
Then, with almost consummate ease, centre Tom Taylor-Davies was over for the opening try when the defence opened up in front of him following a switch in the centre.
Taylor-Davies also featured in the second try with a long miss pass to put wing Kieran Murphy away with enough space to get through the defence. Reilly converted. To keep things in the family, Andy Murphy then scored another try following a scintillating break by Arasa, when the ball was re-cycled quickly and Murphy scored with Reilly converting to complete a superb first half for Tabard.
The win put Tabard back on top of the table two points clear of their nearest rivals Imperial Medicals and Hampstead.
Next week Tabard take on Chiswick at their Cobden Hill Radlett home, kick-off 2.15 pm.
Tabard: Hopcroft, Murphy K, Arasa, Taylor-Davis, Roberts, Reilly, Murphy A, Lake B, Colette, Lake W, Barrow, Kidd, O'Connor, Hall, Stoba.
Other Results: Tabard 2nd XV 5 Hendon 10; Tabard Women 53 Vauxhall 15.