Runaway leaders Tabard run riot at Hemel Hempstead despite missing key players
London Two North West Hemel Hempstead 17 Tabard 41 TABARD were forced to field a re-organised scrum on Saturday and found themselves without their usual superiority to begin with but they overcame the difficulties and, playing well in all other aspects of
London Two North West
Hemel Hempstead 17 Tabard 41
TABARD were forced to field a re-organised scrum on Saturday and found themselves without their usual superiority to begin with but they overcame the difficulties and, playing well in all other aspects of the game, eventually came out on top at Hemel Hempstead.
Strangely Tabard were 14 points clear before the first scrum in the game. Tabard's first try came in the eighth minute from a line out. The ball was quickly passed to Gerald Arasa in the centre who made the half break before feeding his centre partner Mike Thomas for the score which stand-off Jack Reilly converted.
Tabard's second try came in similar fashion five minutes later except this time Reilly sent the defence the wrong way and went through to score himself and then convert for a 14 point lead.
Then came the first scrum and Hemel found that Tabard were struggling and enjoyed a brief period of mastery when they too ran in two tries, the first from No.8 Perry, who picked up at the base of the scrum and the second from centre Jones, who got through the Tabard defence.
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Stand-off Woodard converted both to level the scores.
However, Tabard gradually got their scrum together with the Lake twins, Bill and Wilf, providing the power up front and Tabard again began to look the better side.
This was proved just before half time when Tabard ran a short penalty close in and the forwards drove the loose maul over the line for the score claimed by second row Darren Kidd, with Reilly converting with the sides turning round with Tabard ahead by seven points.
The second half was evenly contested to begin with although Tabard were making more use of their possession and were rewarded with a line out near the Hemel line.
The ball was caught cleanly and the Tabard forwards drove for the line with Kidd again claiming the touchdown. Hemel responded immediately with a Woodard penalty and this sparked a good period for Hemel but a fumble in their line saw Tabard's wing Matty Roberts kick through and field the ball before feeding his other wing Kieran Murphy for a try from inside their own half.
The game was now effectively over with Tabard ahead by 31 points to 17 but Tabard got two further tries, the first by scrum-half Tom Woodhead when he charged a clearance kick down and the second by Roberts after Thomas had made a searing break up the middle of the park only to slip over in the mud.
Fortunately the ball was re-cycled quickly and a long miss pass from Reilly found Roberts, who went over for the final score.
Next week Tabard are at home to Finchley, kick off 3pm.
Tabard: Cunningham, Hopcroft (Murphy 65), Thomas, Arasa, Roberts, Reilly, Woodhead, B Lake, O'Neil, W Lake, Davey, Kidd, O'Connor, Calnan, Hall.