Hatfield QE made to work hard for Black Horse success
PUBLISHED: 07:00 22 February 2018
Hatfield Queen Elizabeth Rugby made it 13 wins in a row by beating a strong Black Horse team 24-13 at Roe Hill in Herts Middlesex Merit Table Three.
Rob Jack was the star, bagging a hat-trick of tries, with Charlie Gibbs adding the nine other points.
But they made to work for it as Black Horse flew out of the blocks while Hatfield struggled to get their game going.
And after killing the ball in a ruck, Hatfield were penalised and Black Horse kicked the first points of the day.
The Hertford-based team then followed that up with an unconverted try and heads began to drop in the Hatfield ranks.
But they slowly started to pull themselves together and after stringing together a number of phases just outside the visitors’ 22, Hatfield were awarded a penalty which full-back Gibbs converted.
This was the boost to the confidence that was needed and Jack demonstrated this newly-found belief by embarking on a scorching run that saw him break through the gain-line and score Hatfield’s first try of the day.
Gibbs’ conversion gave them a 10-8 lead at the break.
But their good work was nearly undone when Hatfield were once again slow at the start of the half and quickly found themselves under their own posts after Black Horse had scored a try.
Coach Gary Phillips and captain Marc McCrystal gave the team a stern shakedown, having realised they had been performing well below par.
And it worked, lighting a real fire beneath them, that brought another score.
After a tense passage of play winger Jago Penrose kicked for position and chased.
Jack also followed, tackled the Black Horse player, ripped the ball and stormed away to score his second under the posts. Gibbs, once again converted.
Black Horse started arguing amongst themselves and with the referee but Hatfield kept their heads and with the last play of the day Hatfield broke through with Rob Jack once again touching down for his third of the game and 25th of the season.
Gibbs once converted to make the final score 24-13 to Hatfield.
It keeps them firmly on top of the table, six points clear of Tring 3rds, but they know they will have to play with better focus when they host Amersham & Chiltern 3rds on Saturday.