London Scottish 24 vs 24 Hertford A
Following a wet trudge down to Richmond for a 12 O'clock kick off we were greeted at one of the heritage rugby clubs in the world in the heart of English rugby.
An immaculate pitch and with the rain easing up Hertford had a dream start. Tight and well organised play saw a converted try, three penalties and a drop goal within 30mins and a dominant 0-19 lead. When London Scottish were finally allowed the ball some sloppy play allowed them in for an unconverted try 5-19 at the break. The second half saw a reversal of fortunes with Hertford playing way too much rugby in their half, a charged down box kick 10m from our try line saw London Scottish draw closer at 12-19. A cross field kick and catch on the wing saw Hertford extend their lead to 12-24 with 20 mins to go. Mistakes and errors and desire on the part of London Scottish saw them pull up to 19-24 with the last play called and a Hertford line out on our 10m line. Win the line out and kick to touch and the game was ours. Alas in a copycat of Bishop's Stortford and London Scottish last season - the lineout was lost, Hertford then conceded a penalty and the hosts crossed the whitewash to tie the fixture. Heart in mouth, the conversion sailed wide and Hertford had salvaged a draw from a clear winning position. Very disappointing for all concerned - in 3 seasons Hertford have lead the fixture for 175 of the 180 minutes of cumulative play with a 6pt difference and yet the results read W0 D1 L2. Another big lesson that we still don't appear to be learning from. Nonetheless we sit atop HML Dev 2 with 7pts from 2 games.
Hertford B 17 vs 14 Bishop's Stortford B
After a tough week at Hitchin the B team bounced back with a well deserved win in a very well matched contest against Bishop Stortford B. Both forwards and backs had clearly paid attention to the sessions on the breakdown and were much improved in the ruck this week, with better ball retention and winning some turnovers. Throughout the game the back row of Matt Day, Ben Stratford and George Murray worked tirelessly at both defence and pick and run or pop and run attack, and that supplied our second (Thomas Paine) and third (Matt Day) tries. The first try built on the platform provided by the forwards and was well worked through the whole back line to supply Toby Clermont on the wing for the finish. A very tight contest and the whole team worked really hard and together to achieve the result.
Training on Wednesday will run from 8-9.30pm
On Saturday England play to qualify for the knockout phase against Argentina and the game will be shown up at the club, with breakfast served.
U16 are on car-parking duty this Saturday - please let Bob know if you are able to help please - this is an important source of income to the club and you contribution is critical.
On Sunday we will be sending a Hertford side to Harrow (HML Div 5) this will be a "bottom up" selection and we will take the opportunity to give those players who have had less playing time more match time. I intend to send 20 players.
The remainder will train at home on the training pitch 10:30-12:00 - very conscious that both Richard Hale and Bishop's Stortford College have matches on Saturday - so the session will be fitness/low contact.