Harbury RFC Secure Opening Day Win
Excellent opening league display for Harbury against tough opponents secures bonus point victory.
Most of the encounters between these teams have been tight, although last season the Welsh enjoyed significant victories over Harbury both at home and away. Harbury though have recruited effectively during the close season and the guidance and tutelage provided by new coach Ben Baseley has been very productive. Two trial games against Newbold and Syston have demonstrated the effectiveness that working together and for each other can bring.
The first fifteen minutes were dominated by the Welsh with most of the play in their opponents half. They were getting good ball from all aspects of set play. However, excellent defence across the field by Harbury prevented any major incursions. Nonetheless, Welsh opened the scoring with a simple penalty kick in front of the posts for a 3-0 lead after seventeen minutes. Welsh were so rattled by the speed and effectiveness of the visiting defence that their back line chose wrong options and dropped passes. Harbury took advantage of this when an aimless kick ahead was fielded by full back Jamie Bearman He then triggered a fine counter attack taking play 70 metres downfield only for the final pass to be marginally forward.
Into the second quarter Harbury were awarded a penalty on the 10 metre line and a well judged touch finder took Harbury five metres from the Welsh goal line. The line out was well taken and the pack moved in unison, getting good traction to drive over for a try by number 8 Matt Knight. The conversion was added by Matt Morphett to put Harbury 7-3 ahead. The visitors began to dominate play moving the ball into space and taking their attack wide. This positive approach was rewarded with two more tries from Will Godwin and Tom Fisher for a 17-3 half time lead.
Welsh had the slope in their favour but again excellent defence prevented them from scoring. A fine pick up by no. 8 Knight in the Harbury 22 took play the length of the field with his 20 metre break well supported by Morphett who used his pace to break through the home cover and put left wing Paul Evans 30 metres out for what looked a certain score but an excellent cover tackle prevented the touch down.
The Welsh came back again and following two penalties play took them to the Harbury line but outstanding defence by Harbury and a brilliant turnover which was cleared to touch was a key moment in the game. Welsh though did not give up and good work by their pack enabled them to touch down wide out. The conversion was missed but the deficit was reduced to nine points. This spurred Harbury to both widen the gap and add a bonus point. They did this through adhering to their policy of open rugby. Quick and accurate passing enabled centre Fisher to use his pace and cut down the blindside and run 45 metres for a fine try.
Welsh did respond with a try at the death but this was Harbury’s day and the team fully deserved an excellent win based on outstanding defence coupled with some great open running rugby.