Thurrock leave it late to defeat Tabard

Late score denies Tabard

London League 1 North

Thurrock 12 Tabard 8

TABARD were by far the better side on Saturday but could not capitalise on their greater possession and territorial advantage and thus ended up the losers of a game they could so easily have won.

Thurrock played with the wind in the first half and this obviously gave them an advantage but it was Tabard, after the few opening skirmishes, that stamped their authority on the game, proving dominant in the set scrums and also taking their opponents’ line-out on two occasions.

With this advantage Tabard were applying all the pressure and the first reward came with a penalty converted by stand off Jack Reilly to put Tabard three points ahead.

Tabard were enjoying a plethora of possession but could not convert this to points, both centres Tryfan Edwards and Michael Thomas made half breaks but were stopped short and then with Tabard attacking the Thurrock line they were penalised for coming in at the side of the ruck.

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Thurrock cleared the penalty up field, won the line out, re-cycled the ball in the middle of the field, wrong footed the Tabard defence and they were in for a try, from wing Farrel, converted by stand off Madden.

Following this, despite numerous attacks from Tabard, they could not penetrate the Thurrock defence and the teams turned round with Tabard four points down.

Although Tabard had the wind in the second half it subsided to some extent but Tabard still enjoyed lots of possession and territorial dominance but could not cross the line. Number 8, Scott Stoba made a superb upfield break but was stopped just short, again the Tabard centres had numerous surges through the defence but to no avail and scrum half Chris Van der Vlugt made a solo break but the final pass went to ground.

Just when it seemed as though Tabard were going to get nothing from their pressure, they were rewarded with eight minutes to go with a try when Reilly dummied through close to the line to touch down in the corner.

Tabard’s euphoria was short lived however, as a Thurrock attack, close to full time, brought them the winning score and Tabard had to rue what might have been as they were defeated by 12 points to eight.

Next week Tabard host Stevenage at their Cobden Hill, Radlett ground, kick off 3pm.

The match will be attended by dignitaries from the RFU, including the new CEO, John Steele, who wants to see the lower echelons of rugby at close hand.

It will not be his first visit to Tabard however, as he played at the ground way back in 1992 when Tabard tackled Northampton in, what was then, the Pilkington Cup.

Tabard: Cunningham, Hopcroft, Thomas, Edwards, Roberts, Reilly, Van der Vlugt, B Lake, Hart, W Lake, Miller (Weizman 45m), Kidd, O’Connor, Stingu, Stoba.

* Other Score – Tabard II XV 56 St Albans 15.