Scrum proves the difference as Welwyn slip to Fullerians defeat
PUBLISHED: 09:28 10 December 2019 | UPDATED: 09:28 10 December 2019
There was no need for a post-match autopsy after Welwyn's home game with Fullerians as the reason for the 29-14 loss was clear - the visitors' bigger and stronger pack.
The Hobbs Way-based rugby club were simply out-scrummaged by the Watford side who took away most opportunities for Welwyn to get on the front foot.
Fullerians bagged four tries compared to Welwyn's two and the fact three of the away team's tries came from scrums close to the Welwyn line just emphasised their superiority in this area.
Welwyn had welcomed back Josh Milton to the line-up and they did start brightly, soon finding themselves deep into Fullerians territory.
Two penalties were taken quickly and from the second of these, second-row Anton Denton charged through two defenders to touch down under the posts and Chris Kemp added the extras for a 7-0 lead.
Things were level on 15 minutes though as a slip from full-back Joe Nasaucoko allowed Fullerians' skipper Dan Evans a free run to the line which he also converted.
A penalty put Fullers ahead but Welwyn grabbed try number two with 10 minutes of the first-half remaining, and again it was from another quickly tapped penalty.
Rory Harcourt added the final pass after the ball was swiftly moved left and Vetaia Kawea crashed over with Kemp kicking the extra two points.
It wasn't enough to give them a half-time lead though as a try from George Harvey and conversion from Ben Matchett meant Fullerians turned round 17-14 to the good.
Two tries early in the second period sealed the bonus-point win for the visitors, the first a penalty try as Welwyn's scrum creaked on their own line and the second from another pushover.
Welwyn did keep the final 30 minutes scoreless but they couldn't add any more in pursuit of their own bonus point.
Coach Gareth Hughes said: "I'm pretty happy with the performance. The boys really scrapped right to the final whistle but unfortunately the Fullers scrum was just too powerful.
"Ultimately that was the difference between the two sides."
Attention will now turn to the renewal of old rivalries on Saturday when Welwyn travel to Datchworth.