Last Sunday the boys opened a new chapter in their rugby playing careers with their first ever Herts and Middlesex Division 1 league match. Few would argue that a trip to Saracens to play on their first team pitch in front of the main stand was the most perfect setting for such an occasion.
We went into the game a little short of personnel but confident that we could have a successful beginning to our league campaign. The early stages were reasonably even as neither side settled into any sort of rhythm. However we enjoyed the majority of the possession and looked to press into the Saracens 22. Our handling was a little slack and our decision making a little wayward and we gave away the softest of tries when in no danger midfield we allowed one of the quick wingers to cut inside unopposed to score under the posts. 0-7 after about 8 minutes so not a great start! The boys reacted well to the early score and dominated possession for the rest of the half. This sapped the energy of the Saracens defence and our response was to pay back with two tries in quick succession. Steffan driving over from close range before our Captain Alfie led by example and used his quick feet to cross the try line after running a good angle to score. Alfie converted both and the electronic scoreboard showed the visitors now in front by 14 points to 5. We lost our hooker, Harry, to injury and his replacement (Chunk) was soon to follow him to the medical man! We patched up what we could and continued to press but on the stroke of half time we were undone by a misplaced pass. This was snapped up close to Saracens own 22 by their quick winger who ran the length of the field to score under the posts. Half Time Saracens 12 Welwyn 14
We started the second period very slowly and despite having possession we failed to create enough space to make serious in roads into the heart of the oppositions defensive line. Sarries were happy to use the counter attack and did this to good effect by gaining ground on the outside with their winger again scoring in the corner. The conversion was missed but we again found ourselves trailing with the score now 17-14 to the hosts. That score gave Saracens some heart and they rocked us for about 5 minutes with some good forward play. This was the first time our boys had been really tested in the loose but we came through with flying colours with excellent counter rucking retrieving the ball to allow Alfie to clear away from our line. This was to be the last threat from Saracens as our boys went through the gears in the last 20 minutes to blitz the opposition with some stunning play. Dominic
restored our lead with a driving run from midfield before capitalising on a good chase down by Andrew & Steffan to add another under the posts. Alfie converted the second one to put us 26 -17 in front. We were motoring now and Samuel finished of some fine play from our backs as the ball fizzed through the hands to release him into space to score. Johann then used his fantastic speed on the wing out pacing all in front of him to score try number 6. The ever reliable boot of Alfie added the extra points. Some scintillating play by the boys to take the game far out of the hosts reach. Final Score Saracens 17 Welwyn 40
Lots to work on but as with our previous foray the boys put 40 points on their hosts. However the win once again came at a cost, as more of the squad seem to have an attraction to the nurses at A & E!
Man of the Match: Steffan Jones