Off the Cuff! Royston march into third round

PUBLISHED: 12:02 27 September 2007 | UPDATED: 15:16 12 May 2010

Colin Letch is pictured in the thick of the action

Colin Letch is pictured in the thick of the action

Royston 29 Cuffley 11 ROYSTON reached the third round of the EDF Junior Vase with an 18-point victory, ­seeing off last season s bogey team Cuffley. And just as in previous meetings with Cuffley, Royston did not have it all their way with an error-strewn

Gutteridge goes over for his try – Pics: Daniel Wilson

Royston 29 Cuffley 11

ROYSTON reached the third round of the EDF Junior Vase with an 18-point victory, ­seeing off last season's bogey team Cuffley.

And just as in previous meetings with Cuffley, Royston did not have it all their way with an error-strewn opening 10 minutes giving the ­visitors a 3-0 lead.

The penalty served as a wake up call to the Crows, with man-of-the-match and captain Scott Easy forcing ­Cuffley back deep in their own half.

And this pressure led to Royston's first try, with Easy and Gary Ryall combining with backs Rob Turner and Jason Deards to put winger Jack Hoile over in the corner for a 5-3 lead.

However, the game continued in a scrappy manner, which saw several Royston moves break down.

And 25 minutes in, the hosts lost their concentration and were pinned back on their own line.

It was a spell of pressure that the visitors maintained, and with a minute of the half remaining they were awarded another penalty.

And when that was slotted over Cuffley went into the interval 6-5 in front.

There was still enough time for Royston centre Dan Fox to be sin-binned after an altercation that saw the Cuffley prop sent off.

In the second half, Royston started to take more control, with their pack outsmarting their opposite numbers, and began to dominate every scrum and line out.

However, once again their concentration lapsed and allowed Cuffley to go further ahead when they ­conceded another penalty.

This coincided with the return of Fox, and with the extra man ­advantage, Royston fought back.

After reshuffling the pack, Royston's own spell of pressure paid off when Ryall broke from the base of the scrum and from the ensuing ruck the ball was recycled wide for Hoile to claim his second try of the match, closing the gap to 11-10.

From the resulting kick off, Royston were back at their opponents and as a result of some clever play by Easy, Steve Bass outpaced three Cuffley players to run in a try from within his own half.

And when Rob Turner converted, Royston had a well-deserved 17-11 lead.

Prop Steve Patmore then grabbed another Royston try after some good work by Kirk Woodford, with Turner converting once more to open up a commanding 24-11 lead.

In the final 10 minutes, Royston upped the tempo once more, with the forwards and backs combining well to allow Dave Marvel over the line for Royston's final try, and a ­justified ­passage into the third round.

Captain Scott Easy said after the game: "All in all this was a result that showed great character, as for the second consecutive week we came from behind to seal a good win."

Club chairman David Dee said: "This is just what we need to be a force to be reckoned with in Hertfordshire rugby."

- On Saturday the Crows resume their league action with a tough away match against Hackney-based Old Streetonians.

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