Tabard leave Welwyn pointless despite positive performance

Arasa carries the ball forward

Arasa carries the ball forward - Credit: Archant

Tabard came away from Welwyn empty handed – but they will wonder how when they look back on the game.

The Radlett-based rugby club were equal to their hosts for long periods of the game but ended up on the wrong end of a 24-15 scoreline.

Gerald Arasa and Toby Davies scored their tries while Jack Reilly kicked a penalty and conversion but it proved not enough.

The result, coupled with Old Merchant Taylors win against Staines, leaves Tabard stuck to the bottom of the London North West Division Two table.

It was expected to be a battle of Tabard’s backs against Welwyn’s forwards and so it proved.

And for long periods, especially in the first half, Tabard had the upper hand.

Reilly got the first points of the day with a penalty from the Welwyn 10 metre line.

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And they should have had increased that advantage, spurning a two-on-one chance out wide and seeing a kick ahead just bounce out of play with the Tabard backs in close attendance.

Welwyn however, had better luck, Phil Grehen collecting his own kick to score under the posts.

Neither side could rid handling errors from their game when the ball was in the open but the host’s forwards were showing their superiority at set-pieces epitomised in one moment just before half-time.

Tabard kicked to the corner and would have been hoping to set up a catch and drive from the ensuing five metre line-out.

However, Welwyn amazingly managed to drive them back almost half the length of the field to protect their advantage going into the break.

And they were soon further ahead three minutes into the second period, Rob Picken bouncing off a couple of tackles to score.

Tabard, who showed great resiliency throughout, were back in it just two minutes later when Arasa stretched over from in front of the posts.

They were asleep though on 51 minutes when Picken grabbed his second, quickly taking a tap penalty to run in unopposed, Gareth Hughes converting.

Arasa freed his arms long enough to send Davies in at the corner and narrow the gap to just four.

But the game, and the bonus point, was snatched from their grasp with 12 minutes to go as the Welwyn forwards drove over for their fourth try.