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First XV - Match centre

Watford
London French
l Bees, A Hancock , J Wilkinson (2), J Upton, l hammill, T FABRE
Tries
P Dunlop (4)
Conversions
Sat 3 Feb 14:30 - London & SE Division - Herts/Middlesex 1 Full time

Muddy Marvellous

Watford keep survival dream alive with dominant victory over London French.

On a typically English winters day (cold, wet, windy), both sides knew nothing less than victory would suffice in the push to stay in HM1 in what was sure to be a tense, hard-fought match.

Surprising everyone (including ourselves), Watford started like a team possessed tearing into their Gallic visitors. Despite the greasy conditions, Watford were comfortable in possession looking to move the ball form contact and attack with width at every opportunity. The home side were soon on the scoreboard, Captain luke hammill collecting an inside ball from Dunners for 5 points. Paul nailed a tricky conversion and we were 7-0 within the first ten minutes, French having barely had a touch.

Watford were back on the attack almost immediately from the re-start, forwards and backs interlinking with aplomb. Hard, direct carries drove deep into the visitors defence before we were awarded a penalty for a French offside. The ball went into touch, Martin Lee held up just short from a trademark set piece move. The ball was quickly recycled, Radish picking a nice line to score our second. Extras missed, but Watford 12-0 with just over 10 mins gone. A third soon followed, man of the match Josh Wilkinson scoring under the posts following a searing blindside break and we were now one try away from the all-important bonus point.

WRFC 1st XV vs London French 1st XV - 03 February 2018
54 photos

Credit to French who dug deep and came back into the game. After an extended period of pressure in the Watford 22, a breakdown infringement saw us lucky to keep the score to nil when a penalty struck the upright allowing us to clear. The warning served to galvanise the home side and we soon had the BP in the bag. A sweeping move from left to right saw Clenners galloping up the touchline before finding Beesy lurking in his customary position on the wing to score our fourth.

With time almost up on the clock Dunners made a fine individual break only to be hauled down 5m short of the line. Jack Upton was in support, picking from the subsequent ruck to dot down and give us a very comfortable 29-0 lead at the break.

Knowing how crucial points difference could be when the business end of the season rolls round, the half time break saw the coaches and Ham emphasise to us how important it was to keep on performing.

Which we did. For about 10 minutes anyway. The lineout, which was imperious all afternoon, provided clean ball from the to, Holloway finding Josh steaming into the line from full back to score his second of the afternoon. Extras from Dunners, 36-0 and surely the game in the bag.

Whilst no Watford player will admit to switching off at this point, we were collectively guilty of maybe taking our foot off the gas. This, coupled with French’s realisation that there was nothing to lose, saw some highly entertaining rugby from the visitors as the game began to open up. The Blues threw caution to the wind and scored two high quality (though unconverted) tries to give themselves a glimmer of hope at perhaps taking a 4 try losing BP from the match.

Unfortunately for the visitors, it wasn’t to be and Watford had the last word with Thibaut FABRE scoring his maiden 1st XV try following on from a well worked back row move.

The win means Watford’s hopes of staying in Herts Middlesex 1 remain alive, though we will have to address our woeful away form if we are to remain in the hunt come April. A weekend off this weekend (enjoy the 6 nations and a few Friday beers!) before a tough assignment away to old Actonians on the 17th.

MOTM – Josh Wilkinson. Two tries and a fine all round performance.

WOTW – Martin Lee. Take your pick from: Ran into Dunners as he tried to kick it, threw the ball at Dunners feet when he was about to score, general foot-hands play.

Quilter Kids First Skills Series: Hide the Attacker

Joshua Wilkinson

Player of the Match

Joshua Wilkinson

Key moments

7:00
Try luke hammill scores for Watford
8:00
Conversion Paul Dunlop kicks a conversion for Watford
10:00
Try luke Bees scores for Watford
15:00
Try Adam Hancock scores for Watford
16:00
Conversion Paul Dunlop kicks a conversion for Watford
26:00
Try Joshua Wilkinson scores for Watford
32:00
Try Jack Upton scores for Watford
33:00
Conversion Paul Dunlop kicks a conversion for Watford
55:00
Try Joshua Wilkinson scores for Watford
56:00
Conversion Paul Dunlop kicks a conversion for Watford
79:00
Try Thibaut FABRE scores for Watford

Videos and photos

Highlights

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80:00 Player of the Match
Joshua Wilkinson is awarded player of the match for Watford
79:00 Try 43 - 0
Thibaut FABRE scores for Watford
56:00 Conversion 38 - 0
Paul Dunlop kicks a conversion for Watford
55:00 Try 36 - 0
Joshua Wilkinson scores for Watford
42:00 Sub On
Thibaut FABRE is substituted on for Watford
42:00 Sub On
stephen james is substituted on for Watford
42:00 Sub On
Ian Butcher is substituted on for Watford
41:00 Sub Off
Jack Upton is substituted off for Watford
41:00 Sub Off
luke Bees is substituted off for Watford
41:00 Sub Off
Tom Gordon is substituted off for Watford
End of period 1
33:00 Conversion 31 - 0
Paul Dunlop kicks a conversion for Watford
32:00 Try 29 - 0
Jack Upton scores for Watford
26:00 Try 24 - 0
Joshua Wilkinson scores for Watford
16:00 Conversion 19 - 0
Paul Dunlop kicks a conversion for Watford
15:00 Try 17 - 0
Adam Hancock scores for Watford
10:00 Try 12 - 0
luke Bees scores for Watford
8:00 Conversion 7 - 0
Paul Dunlop kicks a conversion for Watford
7:00 Try 5 - 0
luke hammill scores for Watford
Start of the game
Replay game

As it happened

  • Watford
  • London French
  • 0
  • luke hammill Try 7:00'
  • Paul Dunlop Conversion 8:00'
  • luke Bees Try 10:00'
  • Adam Hancock Try 15:00'
  • Paul Dunlop Conversion 16:00'
  • Joshua Wilkinson Try 26:00'
  • Jack Upton Try 32:00'
  • Paul Dunlop Conversion 33:00'
  • Tom Gordon Sub Off 41:00'
  • luke Bees Sub Off 41:00'
  • Jack Upton Sub Off 41:00'
  • Thibaut FABRE Sub On 42:00'
  • stephen james Sub On 42:00'
  • Ian Butcher Sub On 42:00'
  • Joshua Wilkinson Try 55:00'
  • Paul Dunlop Conversion 56:00'
  • Thibaut FABRE Try 79:00'

Team selection

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League round up

Other Herts/Middlesex 1 results

21
15
Old Actonians
24
0
U.C.S. Old Boys

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League table

# Team Pl Pts
6. Barnet Elizabethans 22 56
7. Old Actonians 22 55
8. Wasps 22 49
9. Hendon 22 42
10. U.C.S. Old Boys 22 42
11. Watford 22 29
12. London French 22 13

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