Old boys struggle

PUBLISHED: 11:13 09 October 2008 | UPDATED: 15:53 11 May 2010

Royston second XV 12 Saffron Walden third XV 45 Royston were forced to resort to the old and infirm for this Greene King Deuxieme League fixture after injuries and cry-offs resulted in eight missing players. Playing with the strong wind it was essential t

Royston second XV 12

Saffron Walden third XV 45

Royston were forced to resort to the old and infirm for this Greene King Deuxieme League fixture after injuries and cry-offs resulted in eight missing players.

Playing with the strong wind it was essential that they built a good lead. Unfortunately, they failed to capitalise on the advantage of the elements and Saffron Walden scored first.

Royston did manage to level when a kick from Jamie Johnson bounced into touch close to the opposition line. From the resulting lineout Saffron Walden tapped injudiciously and Paul Rabbetts was first to dive on it over the try line.

The Saffron Walden backs were running adventurously against the wind and chipping into gaps behind the Royston defence.

Royston's cause was not helped by an injury to Rob Spragg who was replaced by Steve Clay who also had to go off in the second half after a bang to the head. Neil Smith was an able substitute.

Saffron Walden were fortunate to benefit from a loose ball that bounced kindly for their inside centre who raced under the posts.

The wind seemed to gain in intensity in the second half and Royston had no answer to the superior forward power and pace in the backs of Saffron Walden who ran in a further five tries, converting four of them.

Rabbetts was also forced off with an injury, to be substituted by Kirk Woodford, who galvanised the forwards with the help of Billy Bragg, who made several storming runs into the heart of the opposition.

Royston had the consolation of a try with the last move of the match after several phases of play including forwards and backs ended with Paul Boulter who was prominent throughout, being driven over the line by the pack.

Royston under-15s 0

Welwyn under-15s 10

Having won promotion last season in their final game, Royston commenced their entry into league three with a home fixture against Welwyn A on a wet and blustery Heath.

Royston acquitted themselves well and tackled consistently to a higher level than last year.

There were pleasing performances from Ben Doughty, Joe Hoile and Tom Stone in the backs and Max Scott and Lewis Rawlings in the forwards.

Also impressive was Chris Woods making his league debut for Royston who tackled and defended strongly.

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