Vees loose out on city break
HAC 39 Verulamians 9
AFTER a narrow home defeat last time out Verulamians travelled to the City of London to take on the Honourable Artillery Company.
The newly promoted HAC had made an impressive start to the league with three straight wins. With the Vees looking to get back to winning ways this was always going to be a challenging fixture and it proved to be just so with the home side running out convincing winners.
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The game began at great pace with HAC looking to move the ball wide at every opportunity and they were quick to take advantage of some poor first up tackling from Verulamians to score a converted try in the corner. With the Vees looking to reassert themselves and get their hands on the ball they became more competitive at the breakdown. With the referee taking no nonsense captain Rees found himself taking 10 minutes in the sin bin for foul play at the break down. With Verulamians reduced to 14 HAC applied the pressure up front with an impressive rolling maul before releasing the ball to score under the posts, taking the score to 14-0.
HAC continued to make their one man advantage count as they smashed through the Vees defence recycling quickly before spinning the ball wide to extend their lead to 19 points. With Rees returning to the field Verulamians managed to claw themselves back into the game with some intelligent tactical kicking from number ten Crowne which was backed up with some good work from the forwards. With HAC on the back foot the Vees managed to force a penalty with Crowne taking the points. The Vees were now in the ascendency and took full advantage to take two more quick penalties to take the scores to 19-9 just before the half time whistle. However all the Vees hard work was undone as they switched off allowing HAC to gather the restart and their impressive number eight bundled his way over for a try, giving HAC a 26-9 lead at half time.
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Verulamians came out for the second half all guns blazing launching some impressive phase play from the forwards and looked as if they could turn their pressure into points, but HAC’s defence stood firm.
Vees indiscipline cost them valuable territory and possession allowing HAC to clear their lines. From the resulting line out HAC set up another rolling maul and used the momentum to send their marauding inside centre over for a try. With the Vees chasing the game hooker Matthews was sin binned for a repeat infringement at the break down and HAC decided to take the points to take the scores to 34-9. With the game all but sealed for HAC the visitors tried to salvage some pride and looked good with impressive breaks for wing Paton and fullback Ricci but they failed to convert their chances. HAC scored a final try with players tiring and the game stretched to leave the final scores standing at 39-9.
Verulamians left the impressive City ground with their tails between their legs after a poor away display. After a positive start to the season the Vees were very disappointed with this performance. They will now look to rebuild momentum and some much needed confidence when they welcome Kilburn Cosmos to Cotlandswick.
VEES: Trojans, Matthews, Bloomfield, Luckhurst, Wildey, Morgan, Moralee, Coyle, Rees (C), Crowne, Choppin, Munien, Westhead, Paton, Ricci SUBS: Maille, Graham, Waters.