Second half pressure reaps rewards for Tabard

London One North

Tabard 18 Eton Manor 14

IN a hard fought game at Cobden Hill on Saturday, Tabard played magnificently to put a lot of second half pressure on Eton Manor and were rewarded with a victory by 18 points to 14.

The whole Tabard team put in the effort but once again it was a solid performance up front by the tight five who established the platform for victory. Special mention has to go to the front row of props Bill and Wilf Lake and hooker Matt Hart who provided the foundation for the scrums.

The game started with Eton Manor just shading the possession and territory but an early break by Tabard’s scrum half, Chris Van der Vlugt, showed that Eton were vulnerable and Tabard began to mount some attacks of their own culminating in the first try after 15 minutes. From a scrum close in centre Keiran Murphy made the initial break before passing to wing Henry Mitchell for a well worked try in the corner.

Eton Manor then put the pressure back on Tabard and were rewarded with a try by number 8, O’Brien, when they eventually created an overlap. Eton then converted a penalty, kicked by stand off Mckie, to put them in front briefly before Van der Vlugt levelled the scores with a penalty for Tabard.

On the stroke of half time Mckie dropped a goal for Eton Manor and so the teams turned round with Tabard three points adrift.

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The second half belonged to Tabard with a superhuman effort by all concerned. Early pressure from Tabard was rewarded with a well taken try by Tabard centre, Andy Mead. Tabard passed the ball out from a well taken line out and Mead powered through the defence to touch down with two Eton Manor defenders hanging on to him. Eton then capitalised on a rare excursion into the Tabard half with another penalty from Mckie, to go one point ahead.

It was then up to Tabard to try and win the game and a long period of good rugby ensued with Tabard mounting attack after attack but each time they were thwarted. Wing Jason Davis nearly got round the outside, the forwards tried to power over the line and full-back Hopcroft had some good runs but it was not until the 75th minute that the Tabard effort was rewarded. From a scrum close in No.8 Scott Stoba picked up at the base and, despite being mauled by the Eton flanker, managed to slip a pass to Van der Vlugt, who forced his way over the line for what proved to be the winning score and Tabard had a victory by 18 points to 14 under their belt.

Next week Tabard play Sidcup at home in a re-arranged fixture from the winter postponements.

Tabard: Hopcroft, Mitchell, Murphy, Mead, Davis, Edwards, Van der Vlugt, B Lake, Hart, W Lake, O’Connor, Calnan, Hall (Kidd 53), Stingu (O’Neill 42), Stoba.

Other result; Tabard 2nd XV 50, O. Albanians 0.

On Sunday Tabard Women travelled to Southwold and despite falling behind to two early tries came back strongly to win 32-22. The travelling support reportedly thoroughly enjoyed both the rugby and the Adnams which is brewed in the centre of town at the Sole Bay brewery.