Welwyn pull out best showing of season to progress in RFU London & South East Division Cup
PUBLISHED: 16:03 15 November 2016 | UPDATED: 16:03 15 November 2016
Rory Harcourt inspired Welwyn to their best performance of the season as they beat Woodford 39-12 to advance in the RFU London & South East Division Cup.
Harcourt scored one and had a big hand in four other tries as the hosts dismantled Woodford, who currently lie sixth in London Two North East.
The weather conditions could hardly have been worse for Welwyn’s favoured style of expansive rugby with grey and damp conditions making ball handling difficult.
However, the home side prospered with several tries starting deep in Welwyn’s 22 and were a joy for the sparse crowd to watch.
Welwyn started strongly and were soon awarded a penalty within the range of skipper Phil Grehan, who pushed his kick just wide.
The hosts soon made amends, however, with three tries in the first half, all unconverted.
First on the scoresheet was Harcourt, who squeezed into the corner.
Soon after, the same player made an incisive break through the middle of the field and fed the ball to his brother Adam who seemed to know instinctively where to be at the right time.
Adam touched down to give Welwyn a 10-0 lead.
This was extended further when Rob Picken scored from a pushover scrum from five metres out just so that the backs did not have everything their own way.
Welwyn turned around 15-0 up, but Woodford were soon on the scoreboard with an unconverted try in the corner.
Rory Harcourt then made another scything break through Woodford’s midfield with Grehan in close support.
Harcourt elected to put a grubber kick through which was perfectly weighted for Grehan to win the race and touch down. Grehan converted to make the score 22-5.
However, Woodford were not to be denied and scored again and converted to narrow the difference to 22-12 with 25 minutes left.
An excellent line-out 22m from Woodford’s line secured possession for the home team.
The ball was moved to the centre of the field and recycled quickly to the left for winger Dan Ashcroft to crash over in the corner. The try went unconverted.
Welwyn then scored the try of the match.
Ashcroft fielded a high ball and passed it back to full-back Harry Gillespie deep in Welwyn’s 22.
Gillespie, alert as ever, found a small gap and made 30m progress upfield.
The ball was then moved right and Rory Harcourt yet again cut through the centre and sprinted for the line.
The cover defence managed to get back but brother Adam again knew where to be and gratefully received his brother’s pass to score under the posts.
Grehan converted to bring the score to 34-12 and effectively end Woodford’s hopes.
There was, however, one more outstanding try to come from Welwyn and Rory Harcourt was again the instigator.
His break upfield was well-supported by TJ LeBaigue, who crashed over to complete an excellent afternoon for Welwyn.
This should give the side confidence going into their next league match on Saturday when they host Harrow.
The man of the match, sponsored by The Steamer, was Rory Harcourt.