Harpenden 58 Tabard 7
It was another tough weekend for Tabard who were up against third placed Harpenden, in a game played in continual rain and near freezing conditions. Yet again, despite the score line, Tabard played some encouraging rugby and kept going to the end. You cannot fault the effort of this team, many of whom are being asked to step up to higher level of rugby than they have been used to and you would like to think that both they and Tabard will be the beneficiaries of the experience that some of the juniors are gaining. It has to be said that the two lads playing at second row, Brown and Price, are looking better with each game they play and Poddy Naughton playing in the back three, was arguably pound for pound, the best player from either side, tackling anything that comes his way and showing a great awareness for the game. Tabard also saw the three Gough boys playing together, apparently the first time there have been three brothers in the 1st 15 since the Smiths played in 1983.
Tabard played some good rugby but were up against a strong pack who were able to drive a maul over from the Tabard 22 for their first score after 10 minutes. Their second try was scored by the home side’s winger after good work by the forwards. The next try came from an attacking scrum that was driven over the Tabard line allowing the Harpenden Number 8 to touch down, making the score 17 – 0 after half an hour. As Tabard began to tire towards half time, Harpenden were able to clock three further tries, with the referee’s whistle signalling the end of the half with the score at 29 – 0.
Harpenden were quickly in to their stride at the restart with two tries in rapid succession. Tabard would not lie down and their effort was epitomised by the defensive work of Jack Reilly and the continual efforts of Aaron Priscott in attack. These two set up John Tilley, another stalwart of this side, who was able to touch down for Tabard’s only try, well converted by Reilly. Harpenden were not finished and as Tabard tired, the home side were able to score a further three tries, before the referee brought things to a conclusion with the scoreboard reading 58 -7.
Team: Westaway, Priscott, Tilley, Brown, Price, Marcus Bunning, Teddy Gough, Webber, George Gough, Reilly, Morgan Bunning, Davis, Olashore, Naughton, Harry Gough.