Unbeaten Harpenden make up for kicking woes with six tries

Action from Harpenden's win over Hemel Hempstead.

Action from Harpenden's win over Hemel Hempstead. - Credit: Archant

Harpenden more than made up for a lack of kicking accuracy by scoring six tries against Hemel Hempstead to keep extend their unbeaten start to the London 2NW season.

Without reliable place kicker Aaron Wilde, Harpenden failed to dissect the uprights at Hemel but two first-half tries and four after the break handed them a 30-20 victory.

Harpenden went ahead after 10 minutes following a move along the backs started by fly half John Collins, who was preferred to the injured Yannick Green. Centre Nick Childs and winger Ashley Smith engineered a penalty opportunity, which was kicked into touch. From the lineout play spread across to the other side of the pitch and, following a ruck, captain Adam Wheatley forced his way over.

Hemel responded quickly: Gavin Jakeman struck a fine penalty after the referee spotted a crooked feed at the scrum and he was on target again after Hayden Morgan dotted down.

With half-time beckoning, Harpenden’s Tristan Francis ran in from half way to make it 10 points apiece at the interval.

In the next phase of play, centres Nick Childs and Max Baggio and back row Dave Green all make their presence felt with fine running, culminating in tries for each of them in reply to Jakeman earlier penalty kick.

At 25-13 in Harpenden’s favour, Jakeman put Hemel on his shoulders to bring them within five points after adding the extras to his own try.

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With four minutes remaining, and the score 25-20, the visiting team didn’t do themselves any favours after missing yet another penalty.

Hemel had the a chance to draw level, opting for a scrum in front of the posts after a penalty, but Harpenden’s defence held firm, allowing a counter-attack and sixth and final try.

Harpenden’s next league fixture is a home match against HAC on Saturday, September 27.