Too many unforced errors lead to Datchworth loss
Much good work undone
A bit of a curate’s egg of a match at Datchworth on Saturday where the home team’s try bonus point victory by 29-13 took them up to second in the table. Once again, the score was not a proper reflection of the match in which Harrow did some good things were within touching distance of their opponents before again conceding two late tries in the last ten minutes of the game
On a bright afternoon Harrow kicked off playing with a slight slope but against a strong wind blowing at an angle across the field. Harrow were behind with 4 mins after the home team’s big centre broke a tackle and although he was stopped close to the Harrow line the visitors were penalised at the breakdown. Datchworth opted for the scrum from which their scrum half darted over to score. Straightforward conversion to a soft try 7-0.
Harrow were not deterred by their poor start and for the remainder of the half were the more dangerous of the two sides. Their good work was rewarded after some constant pressure at 25 mins with a five-metre scrum about 10 metres in at the right-hand touchline. Secure scrum ball was moved left where quick hands and a miss pass put Argent outside his opposite winger and the young man was in at the corner. Difficult conversion missed 7-5. Harrow came straight back and from almost the same move a great tackle on Argent as he was again going in at the corner saw him hit the corner flag in the act of scoring. Harrow finally got the score their pressure deserved at 35 mins when Datchworth deliberately wheeled the scrum to the left of their posts. Straightforward penalty by Mark Gibson and Harrow were now ahead 7-8.
Just before the break Datchworth put the ball behind the Harrow defence. Poorly dealt with Datchworth got the ball back and although once again they were stopped short Harrow were penalised on their own 5 metre line. A quick penalty moved right and they were in at the right-hand corner to go 12-8 which was the score at the break. It was unfortunate all that good work undone by two sloppy mistakes
From the break Harrow started the stronger of the two sides and on 50 minutes quick hands on the half way line created an overlap out wide. Unfortunately, as Harrow moved the ball it came off the chest of the Datchworh centre who then caught the ball and ran in unopposed. Conversion missed 17-8.
At 53 mins Harrow were right back in it. A chip by Gibson over the defence was recovered by the same player and a lovely inside pass saw Burnett over from twenty metres. Difficult conversion 17-13. From the restart Datchworth had their best period in the game and Harrow were very much on the defensive trying to preserve their line. At 70 mins or so Boyle got injured in a tackle and after a lengthy stop he had to be assisted from the field. Without Brennan and Itoje, both unavailable Harrow solid enough on their own ball couldn’t now cope with Datchworth’s power scrum and after conceding a couple of scrum penalties the referee had no option but to award a penalty try 24-13
On time Harrow looking for the score that would give them a losing bonus point looked to move the ball across their own posts. A poor pass behind the player landed in Harrow’s deal ball area and a Datchworth player fell on the ball to claim the last points of the game. The home team were a solid side with a plethora of big physical ball carrying forwards who challenged your constantly around the rucks and mauls but overall the team lacks pace and flair and Harrow will have to reflect that a poor start followed by a sting of unforced errors contributed significantly to the Datchworth win.