Bank Job Foiled
Watford earned a gutsy bonus point in a defeat to league leaders Bank of England.
After last weeks capitulation at Wasps, a big response was required. Whilst not a win, the performance went some way to dispelling the previous weeks blues.
A sizeable home crowd gathered for what proved to be an enthralling contest. Unfortunately for us, we failed to pick up on Bank’s gameplan of putting width on the ball at every opportunity and were two tries down before we had even touched the ball.
Thankfully Watford didn’t panic and we eased ourselves into the game. The basics were executed well, the returning luke Bees providing stability at the scrum and Ricky Flint finding his jumpers at the lineout with monotonous regularity. Sam Holloway and Josh Wilkinson both looked threatening with the ball in hand, frequently breaking the first tackle.
Our pressure eventually told, a 5m scrum judged to have been illegally halted by Bank for a penalty try. The visitors replied almost immediately with their third score, however Watford showed great character to once more force their way back into the game. A series of drives saw the visitors penalised, Bram putting the resultant penalty into the corner. From the subsequent drive Martin Lee was driven over for his first of the afternoon.
A promising half came to an end, Bank the stronger side but the home team definitely in the hunt. In what is becoming a concerning habit, Watford switched off for a ten minute period at the beginning of the second half and conceded three scores almost one after the other.
Whilst this was of course a negative, Watford can take great heart from the determination shown to get something out of a game in which they showed up well for long periods. Josh Wilkinson showed an outstanding turn of pace as well as composure to score a fine solo try from his own 22 before man of the match Chris Routley scored from close range.
We were guilty of pushing a bit too hard, a fumble gifting Bank their final score of the afternoon. The last word was however to go to Watford, Martin Lee scoring under the sticks from a quickly taken Mark Hill penalty with the final play of the game.
Man of the Match: Chris Routley. Worked hard on and off the ball and scored a deserved try.
WOTW: Hammill - hurt his leg at Tues training missing his first game in an age. Ricky - stag do, had to be done!