Gallery: Royston run riot to dump Watford out of Junior Vase
Royston 41 Watford 0 ROYSTON Rugby Club kicked off their competitive season with a resounding victory over Watford at the heath in the National Junior Vase. In the first half the home team, playing up the slope with a stiff breeze behind them, were soon o
Royston 41 Watford 0
ROYSTON Rugby Club kicked off their competitive season with a resounding victory over Watford at the heath in the National Junior Vase.
In the first half the home team, playing up the slope with a stiff breeze behind them, were soon on the scoreboard when Scott Easy went over for an unconverted try and from then on there was no looking back.
To their credit Watford, from a league below their hosts, played with great courage and enthusiasm but a missed penalty by the visitors was the closest they came in the first half to putting a score on the board.
Royston heeded this particular warning and when full back Will Cottrell caught a high ball and counter-attacked, Matt Deards was on hand to take the pass out of the tackle and beat several covering defenders to score a second unconverted try.
Further pressure from the forwards led to another score when from a ruck near the Watford line stand-off Jason Deards executed a perfect dummy move to confuse the Watford defence and cross under the posts and convert his own try.
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The final 20 minutes of the first half resulted in stalemate as Royston went into their shells and Watford gained some confidence, but there was only ever one team likely to score and it wasn't the visitors.
At the beginning of the second half despite having the advantage of the slope Royston failed to come to terms with the wind and the hosts spent an uncomfortable 20 minutes defending unconvincingly against a galvanized Watford team.
However, despite breaching the first line of defence on several occasions Watford were unable to convert their pressure and turn their territorial advantage into points.
Royston were also able to ring the changes by bringing on experienced players in Colin Letch and Gary Ryall while Watford on the other hand had to replace several injured players and lost their momentum as a result.
Royston finally added to their score when Matt Deards set the ball rolling after an excellent move by the backs sent the ball out to the right wing where Dan Ritsema made ground before passing the ball back inside for Deards to race clear under the posts.
Jason Deards converted, Dan Ritsema being forced off through injury to be replaced by Dan Skuce.
Within minutes Jason Deards had created space on the right to put Dan Skuce clear for a 30-metre sprint to the corner with his first touch of the ball.
Royston's heads were well and truly up as their opponents began to wilt as the game wore on and in the final 10 minutes forwards and backs combined to produce some excellent rugby, recycling the ball at will and providing a platform that edged closer and closer to the Watford line.
They were rewarded for their pressure play with both stand-in captain and man-of-the-match Easy and Nick Alford both scoring close range tries, while Jason Deards converted the last.
Overall it was a comfortable victory for Royston and an early season boost for the weeks ahead.
Next week Royston entertain HAC in their first league match of the new season and for that game will welcome back both captain Shaun McDermott and Billy Richardson who were absent for the match against Watford.