Royston too strong for French

Crows cement place in top half of the division

London French 5

Royston RFC 11

Herts/Middlesex 2

AN INJURY-hit Royston cemented their place in the top half of the table with a win away at basement-side London French on Saturday.

With regular first-team skipper Scott Easy missing through injury, Jamie Green stepped up to take over the armband. It was the home side who started brightly with the wind behind them, attacking through their strong centre pairing and attempting to expose the touchlines with probing kicks. Royston repelled them with some excellent defensive work with Tom Crawley and Matt Muirhead smashing their opponents back time and again, and with Sam Morris and Will Phillips dominating the line-outs French never really got a good enough foot-hold to push on after scoring the first try.

They were punished when Royston pulled three points back through a Schurch penalty to make the score 5-3 at half-time.

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The second half kicked off with Royston kicking deep and French received and were instantly knocked back by a huge hit from Muirhead. The ball went loose and was picked up by another French player who was knocked back by Green and again French spilled the ball only to reclaim it, again Royston knocked them backwards with a great front-up by Schurch, and just as the visitors were claiming the ball a Frenchman infringed to concede a penalty 10 yards out in front of the posts which Schurch duly converted to put Royston a point in front.

This was a massive boost to Royston as they had pushed French deep into their own half without a visiting player touching the ball and showing nothing but a great desire to hit anything in blue and drive him back.

Royston carried on attacking the Frenchman and turned the screw, and a try was added for Royston when a great burst from Muirhead led to Sam Morris scoring a try to stretch their lead. And with minutes to go Royston saw the game out, to claim the points and cement their place in the top half of the table.