Slideshows: Welwyn beat Nigerians for back-to-back wins
PUBLISHED: 13:55 06 February 2008 | UPDATED: 21:49 26 October 2009
WELWYN secured their second win on the trot and picked up vital points at Handside Lane on Saturday in their bid to avoid relegation. The Herts side beat Woodford in their previous game and defeated a strong London Nigerian outfit by 17-11 at the weekend.
WELWYN secured their second win on the trot and picked up vital points at Handside Lane on Saturday in their bid to avoid relegation.
The Herts side beat Woodford in their previous game and defeated a strong London Nigerian outfit by 17-11 at the weekend.
Victory and the two points put Welwyn ninth in the table alongside two other clubs and opened up a useful three-point gap over the three clubs in the relegation zone.
Nigerians, who won the first encounter between the two clubs 28-18 last October, have a very fast and elusive inside centre in Wole Olufunwa, nicknamed The Ghost.
The home team knew that they had to deny him the ball if they wanted to win the game.
Welwyn took an early lead when the ball was worked to the left and, from a scrum near the posts, No 8 Andrew Hawkins charged over to score after 15 minutes.
The conversion was missed and Welwyn were penalised for handling from the restart.
London Nigerian took a quick penalty and gained a second straight after in front of the posts.
An easy penalty kick reduced the lead to 5-3.
The return from the restart did not find touch on the Welwyn left and was collected by flanker Rob James, who drove forward towards the centre of the field.
He laid the ball back well and outside half Gareth Hughes chipped the ball into the left corner.
It was collected by William Freeston who, supported by the pack, offloaded the ball to allow prop Grant Keeler to crash over the try-line in the corner.
Hughes landed an excellent conversion to increase Welwyn's lead to 12-3 after 22 minutes.
The home side continued to play the ball back to the forwards.
They were gaining the ascendancy over the visitors, with hooker Jacques Naude taking one scrum against the head.
Nigerians' powerful centre made a decisive break through the centre to score just to the left of the posts.
The kicker missed the conversion but the lead was now reduced to 12-8.
Welwyn dominated the remainder of the half but despite all of their possession they failed to add to their score before the interval.
The second period continued in the same pattern as the first with the Welwyn forwards continually making steady progress by picking up and driving from rucks.
Nigerians were denied significant possession and position for long periods.
Eventually the hosts did add to their tally after the referee spotted a Nigerian foul.
He yellow carded the offender and Hughes placed a penalty kick into touch on the five metre line.
The forwards gained possession from the line out and Naude drove over for an unconverted try to increase the lead to 17-8.
Possession was exchanged several times from the kick off with both sides guilty of missing or kicking directly into touch.
A penalty for the London side brought the scores closer at 17-11, but Welwyn maintained their forward domination and ran out the game encamped well in their opponents' half.
The Welwyn front row of Grant Keeler, Naude and Muggridge were jointly awarded the man of the match.
Welwyn travel to joint top of the league Tring on Saturday and will have to play to their best to bring home any points.
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