2nds Open 2018 With Win
Pie’s Army ignite to burn Ignations away from home.
Words from Sean Silver
A week on from a fairly convincing defeat against the same opponents, Watford Second team rose like a phoenix from the flames to take maximum points against a team who had previously beaten Watford twice this season.
After a truncated warm up, Watford started like a train. Steamrollering the Ignations from kick off to force them backwards from no fewer than five consecutive phases before winning a penalty just outside the 22.
Fly Half Tullett put a beautiful kick right into the 5m channel, before Captain Hicks produced a trademark throw for the rolling maul. Meredith dotted down for the first of his hattrick. Extras missed, 0-5.
At this stage the game settled into a pattern of Watford dominance but no points. In fact Watford should have had a few scores, but slight mistakes in key areas cost us. First veteran Bridge was held up a foot short after cutting past two defenders; then not one, or two but three Watford players knocked on when deep in Enfield territory.
Enfield punished this generosity with a well worked try. Their right winger scored his first of two good tries cutting a nice line on the inside of the looping 10 to slice through Watford’s blitz defence.
This didn’t stop Watford, or in truth impact upon the game in any great way. Watford kept pushing, and continued to dominate at scrum and ruck. Given clean platform ball, assisted by Enfield not competing and the referee having a fine game, Watford’s backs were putting a lot of pressure on the Enfield midfield. This pressure resulted in plenty of penalties, and after another rolling maul was dropped inside the Enfield 22 Watford hit midfield quickly. With scrumhalf Hill caught in the ruck, Meredith picked and went, bouncing the guard before spinning past a cover defender for a good score. 7-10.
The first half saw time for Watford to narrowly miss out on another try after Centre Williams committed two defenders before throwing a pass behind the supporting Silver with the line at their mercy.
Half time Watford up by 3.
Watford went into the second half knowing that the same performance would be enough, we’d dominated possession but failed to convert it into points. Unfortunately we switched off, substitute Asbury was binned for some cynical blocking and Enfield managed to find a weak line on the blind side to bulldoze over for a second try. 14-10.
Fortunately it didn’t take long to strike back with slick hands putting Watford deep into Enfield territory before the much vaunted international front row got involved. Pie Face rucked, we had French flair from Fabre, before Greyling showed the hard running South African’s used to be known for cutting a lovely line back in and crashing over with Enfield scattering like frightened ants.
Tullett tucked over a tidy conversion to restore the three point lead.
The game settled into a tighter affair now, with neither team wanting to push it. Asbury came back on determined to make amends, first with a sumptuous break from his own 22, and then with three bruising tackles. Hill forced a mistake from the opposition around the halfway line resulting in a yellow card for his opposite man.
With the extra man Watford pressed on. Stretching play well and forcing Enfield onto the back foot. When the blitz defence forced an Enfield knock on (one of many from a very effective defensive system for once) Watford had a scrum in the Enfield half. After the referee gave a free-kick Meredith tapped at the back, exploited the lack of scrum half and beat four defenders for a fine solo score under the posts. Tullett made it a maximum for a ten point lead 24-14.
Watford forced Enfield back with a series of kicks being well chased. Unfortunately one impressive defensive set actually lead to the next try against. With the opposition centre dropping the ball after a huge hit from winger Hall the ball bounced lose and the Enfield right winger evaded the first two men after pouncing on the ball. He managed to find space down the left, outpacing the covering Tullett and Hill before being hit inches before the try line. The superb score was completed though as he had managed to lift his legs in the air just before he crossed the touchline for the five points.
19-24, with 3 to play.
An Enfield penalty near half way was kicked to touch, but they could get no further as Watford pressured and Williams forced yet another dropped ball with a big tackle on his opposite man.
Game over and a well-deserved win.
Motm – Meredith for a game winning hattrick.
Wotw – Asbury for being binned three minutes after entering the field. Must have been watching his skipper.