Tabard enjoy try feast

Hopcroft bags hat-trick as Tabard run in eight tries

London One North

Woodford 13 Tabard 53

NEIL Hopcroft, Tabard’s ebullient full-back, scored three tries in his side’s exciting win over Woodford on Saturday, the Radlett side eventually scoring eight tries to win by 53 points to 13.

The victory was very much the result of pressure built in the first half when good penetrative kicking from stand off Jack Reilly enabled Tabard to keep the pressure on their opponents and in this they were ably supported by good scrummaging, several scrums being turned over and also hooker Ross McKenzie taking one clean strike against the head, a rarity in modern rugby.

Tabard were so dominant in the first half that the teams turned round with Tabard ahead by 41 points to three. Woodford’s three being the opening score of the match, kicked by wing Humphreys after nine minutes. Three minutes later, with Reilly off the field scrum half Chris Van der Vlugt got his first points for Tabard when he converted a penalty to level the scores.

After the tentative start Tabard’s dominance of the next half hour was almost remarkable. Second row Darren Kidd got the scoreboard moving first with a good try when Woodford were caught in possession but were turned over and Kidd was over for the score which Reilly converted. Hopcroft then got his first. A remarkable take of a high ball gave him the half break and his pace took him over from virtually his own half. Reilly converted. Prop Bill Lake then got on the board after touching down following a line out drive and this was followed by second row, Tal Weizman, getting his first points for the club, after Tabard won a line out and the ball was switched back to wrong foot the defence.

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Hopcroft picked up his second after centre Tryfan Edwards made the initial ground, and then Edwards got one of his own when Van der Vlugt pounced on a loose ball, at the back of the scrum and passed out. Reilly converted both to end a remarkable first half.

Against the wind in the second half and with 14 players for the first quarter after consecutive yellow cards for misdemeanours, Tabard’s attack faltered and some good work by Woodford brought them two tries for their wings Humphreys and Jolly. However, as the game drew to a close, wing Jason Davis put Tabard back on the scoreboard after Weizman had made the initial surge and Davis then used his speed for the score.

With the game in injury time, Hopcroft completed his hat-trick after a switch move in the centre with Edwards doing the initial damage. This score brought to an end a remarkable game with Tabard winning by 53 points to 13.

Next week Tabard play Chingford at their Cobden Hill, Radlett, ground, kick off 3pm.

Tabard: Hopcroft, Murphy (Davis 82m), Cunningham, Edwards, Roberts, Reilly, Van der Vlught, B Lake, McKenzie, W Lake, Kidd (Miller 78), Weizman, O’Connor, O’Neill (Settle 70), Stoba.

Tabard’s 2nd XV beat Hendon 31-10 in a merit table fixture.