Welwyn 3's off to a winning start
Hard fought win as champagne rugby makes way for grit & graft
Following on from last weeks only pre season friendly against barnet, organisation and composure were key if we were to avoid another defeat.
A good squad with 20 players available, & despite a morning drop out and a couple of call ups, a solid squad with even front row replacements took too the field.
Southgate started the game better, camped in our half for a good few minutes and eventually earned a penalty in front of the posts. 0-3 them. Whilst the usual slow start was evident the defence was good with the Griffiths, Giddens & Gibbs all doing good work to defend around the edges from strong southgate running.
Ian Forbes got us back underway & we finally played a bit of rugby. Good work from forwards with strong carries from Bolton, Mike (sorry but no chance of me spelling his surname) and Mahare keep us going forward. Good line speed from the Southgate backs stopped real ground being made and the game turned into a arm wrestle. A couple of good clearing kicks were fielded well by Hume & launched us up field. A chip over the top from Wade put us within 5 meters but we were held up. A break from frakes had him in under the posts but he was held up well. 10 minutes before half time a welwyn lineout feed Ian Forbes, who unleashed his brother James, he stepped their half backs, midfield and full back before dotting down. 5-3. Welwyn spent the rest of the half pressing but good defence kept us out.
Half time and a few changes. We were keen to keep the ball in hand and use our pacey backs to stretch the game. However southgate had other ideas. They used their bulking, well drilled forwards to keep the game tight and half backs kicked position well. An infringement from welwyn lead to a penalty but kick was missed.
As things started to heat up a few handbags were produced, with plenty of arguments over whose was prettiest. A yellow card for a southgate prop should of been the turning point for welwyn but southgate won the 10 minute period 3 - 0 with welwyn infringing at the breakdown. 5-6.
During all this Heyward had come on to sure up the scrum and Bullard was doing good work in the back row.
With both teams up to the full compliment the game ebb'd and flowed with welwyn starting to make ground. Good defence work from Mupemhi and strong carries from Howe & Bolton helped us make ground. A tip tackle lead to a second yellow. A quick break with good link play from the Forbes, little and Boardman was stopped in part by good defence and part by the yellow'd 12 making him self part of the defensive line momentarily!!
More good work lead to breaks through the midfield but both Gibbs and Thulani stopped short. An infringement lead to welwyn pointing to the posts. Forbes misses. 5-6. Another penalty in front of the posts. Late impact sub Bowden had the required effect.This time Gardner slots. 8-6. Their kick was fielded well by Joe and welwyn worked their way back up field. The game ended with another penalty, again for a tip tackle but this time no card for the 12.
Gardener ran down the clock and that was that.
A good strong game by two competitive sides.
1. Mahare 2.Bolton 3.Mike 4.Giddens 5. Gibbs 6. Gardner 7. Griffiths 8.Howe 9.Frakes 10. Forbes 11. Hume 12. Forbes 13.Boardman 14.Mupemhi 15.Wade
Bowden, Bullard, Joe, little , Heyward
Dick of the day
Me for celebrating Gibbo touching down and then realising it was the 5 mete line not the try line.