A Game of Two Halves
Watford signed off in style for their final home appearance in HM1 with a bonus point win over visitors Hendon.
Despite Jenkins, Silver and Josh joining the absentee list Watford were still able to field a strong side and as such were confident of overturning a tight 8-0 reversal at Hendon earlier in the season. Hendon clearly hadn’t the script for our fond farewell and scored almost immediately from kick off despite a fine last ditch tap tackle from Miley. Extras missed (indeed all conversion attempts by both sides were unsuccessful), Watford then proceeded to dominate the next 38 minutes of the half.
The Watford pack were once more in fine fettle, regularly disrupting the Hendon put in as well as providing clean ball for the backline. With the pack in the ascendancy, Dunners and Holloway were enjoying a lot of success with the ball in hand in the centres showing subtle lines of running as well as some dominant, physical carries. Dunners opened the scoring out wide after a fine break by his PIC in the centre. Watford were straight on the attack from the re-start, a Hendon infringement seeing Keelan narrowly pull a penalty wide. Despite losing the industrious Appleton to a shoulder injury, Watford weren’t to be denied and Miley opened his account for the season following good work from Jamesy and Powelly. A 3rd try soon followed, props Radish and Bees combining well to put Martin over in the corner and stretch the home sides lead to 15-5.
Watford were in the ascendancy and on the hunt for the bonus point. Despite having a try disallowed following a crooked throw at the lineout, the pack were not to be denied and obliterated Hendon’s subsequent scrum to win the put in at the reset. Martin proceeded to score his second and Watford’s fourth after more typically fine work from the tight five at the set piece.
Bonus point in the bag, game seemingly done and a great way to sign off the home part of the season. Or so we thought. Hendon had other ideas, Watford almost doing their best to throw the game away. Hendon hit back with two unanswered scores to bring themselves within a try, thankfully missing the two relatively straight forward conversions. The visitors were a changed side in the second period, enjoying a much greater share of territory and possession to put increasing pressure on the Watford try line. We managed to rouse ourselves, Dunners and Sam once more combining to send Jamesy over in the corner for a great team try. It was Hendon who were to have the last laugh however, powering over from a maul before laying siege to the Watford line in the dying moments. Thankfully, we were able to hold out for a 5th league victory of the season.
MOTM – Miley, first start at full back. Defensively sound and a well-earned try.
WOTW – Radish. Saw yellow for a tussle on the deck.