Watford prove far too strong for Heath boys
Watford U-14 38 Royston U-13 17 ROYSTON travelled to Watford on Sunday and played against an opposition predominantly made up of under-14 players. This advantage in terms of age and physical ability soon began to tell with the hosts steamrolling t
Watford U-14 38 Royston U-13 17
ROYSTON travelled to Watford on Sunday and played against an opposition predominantly made up of under-14 players.
This advantage in terms of age and physical ability soon began to tell with the hosts steamrolling through the Royston defence almost at will for the first 10 minutes.
Powerful running by the Watford backs, who were able to outpace the defensive line, led to the first of four first half try's for the hosts despite some desperate defending.
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Trailing by a 26-0 deficit there appeared to be no way back for Royston but, as in their previous match against Letchworth, the Royston pack began to click and started to push their opponents back into their own half.
Strong driving play by Max Scott supported by the rest of the pack moved the ball close to the try line where it was collected by James Clare who burrowed his way over the line to open Royston's account.
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Tom Stone added the two points from the conversion. Continued pressure brought further reward on the next attack when Louis Boulter fed the ball to Tom Stone who evaded several tackles before touching down to close the gap to 14 points at half time.
The break came at the wrong time for Royston and allowed their opponents to regroup, and it was Watford who started the second half the stronger.
Playing to their strengths, they fed the ball to their strong running and powerful wingers who combined to run in a further try in despite some valiant last gasp tackles by Ben Doughty and Liam Chambers.
Still Royston refused to give up and strong support play by man of the match Nathan Crossman, Adam Richardson and Charles Trim powered Royston forward and allowed James Clare the opportunity to double his points tally by plucking the ball from the back of a maul and diving over the line.
As Royston tired against their physically stronger opposition, they conceded a further try to the free running winger on the last play of the match to trail by 21 points.
Royston U-15 17 Old Albanians U-15 28
ON Sunday at the Heath Royston played a team that has won promotion in the County League and has only lost four games all season.
In contrast this was only the third match for the small squad of under-15s, supported by a few under-16s.
They also faced the problem of two last-minute absences through illness and two players who had just taken part in the 3km fun run.
Although they borrowed one player from the opposition they still played with only 13 men against 15.
Nevertheless they kicked off downhill against the wind and were soon camped in the opponent's half.
Quick ball from a ruck allowed the guest inside centre, Michael Smith, to run in a try against his team-mates.
This was a wake-up call for the Albanians who proceeded to dominate the rest of the half with solid play by their forwards and imaginative moves in the backs.
Royston's stout defence, especially from James Watson and Alex Parker in the forwards and Patrick McGarry, James O'Sullivan, Liam Boardman and Will Kennedy in the backs, kept the opposition down to one try for most of the half, but a second try in the last 10 minutes seemed to have given the visitors a good advantage going into the second half.
However, with the last action before the half-time whistle, Stuart Goldfinch split the defence and raced through to score an unconverted try to leave Royston trailing 14-10.
Despite the wind advantage in the second half Royston struggled to win quality possession and gain territory as their six forwards began to tire against the opposition's full pack.
However, from a defensive scrum McGarry hoisted a high ball towards the open-side wing, who dithered under pressure from the excellent Ben Scullion, who scragged his opposite number, stole the ball and fed Goldfinch who raced away to score under the posts and cap a man-of-the-match display.
McGarry added the conversion to put Royston back into the lead. Unfortunately, concentration wavered and OAs re-took the lead with a converted try ten minutes from time.
Their greater forward power allowed them to dominate possession and territory for the rest of the game and in a last desperate attempt to release their dangerous runners from within their own 22, Royston dropped the ball.
OAs scooped it up and fed the right winger who crossed for another converted try to make a more flattering scoreline than they perhaps deserved. The second-rows, Alex Lanham and Jonathan Davies competed well in the loose as did Shane Hume, who is improving with every performance.