Christmas a time of reflection as Welwyn look to come back refreshed in 2020

PUBLISHED: 11:24 16 December 2019 | UPDATED: 11:24 16 December 2019

Datchworth V Welwyn - Datchworth's Sam Brunton tries to escape the clutches of Welwyn's Ollie Di-Lieto.


Picture: Karyn Haddon

Datchworth V Welwyn - Datchworth's Sam Brunton tries to escape the clutches of Welwyn's Ollie Di-Lieto. Picture: Karyn Haddon

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Welwyn will use the festive season to lick their wounds and come back afresh in 2020 in what will be a pivotal period for the Hobbs Way-based rugby club.

Datchworth V Welwyn - Sam Brunton and Nick Gudgin make the tackle as Matt Francis (left) looks on. Picture: Karyn HaddonDatchworth V Welwyn - Sam Brunton and Nick Gudgin make the tackle as Matt Francis (left) looks on. Picture: Karyn Haddon

They ended 2019 second from bottom of the London Two North West table and in the last of the two relegation places after a demoralising 43-0 loss at rivals Datchworth.

Datchworth V Welwyn - Welwyn attempt to break clear from the clutches of Datchworth's Alex Lloyd-Williams and Alex Nolan.


Picture: Karyn HaddonDatchworth V Welwyn - Welwyn attempt to break clear from the clutches of Datchworth's Alex Lloyd-Williams and Alex Nolan. Picture: Karyn Haddon

The Greens are only two places further up the standings but crucially the gap is at 10 points and the gulf between the two clubs looked worryingly large after the clash at Datchworth Green.

There was some tough talking in the huddle following the match but Welwyn coach Gareth Hughes knows that nobody is relegated in December and has every confidence in leading the club to safety.

He said: "Our defence has been good until today but we just need to get back to basics. The two-week break has come at the right time.

"The guys can go off and enjoy Christmas and forget about rugby for a bit.

"We can then come back refreshed and ready for the battle.

"We've got some big games after Christmas, especially at home and this side is capable of staying up.

"We need to stick together, which is what the guys do, and we are an honest group.

"We had a chat after the game and we were pretty honest and brutal with each other.

"A 43-0 defeat away to Datchworth really stings but we'll come back stronger in the New Year."

There were moments of hope in Saturday's encounter. Good breaks from Josh Milton, Antonio Denton and Joe Nasaucoko had given Welwyn good field position on a couple of occasions but three tries in the final eight minutes of the first half proved a knife through the heart of the low-in-confidence side.

Hughes said: "It's really disappointing. Datchworth did some seriously good stuff and when their big players are on form they are a very good team.

"Conversely it's difficult to know what's going wrong for us. Confidence is low and we're in a bit of a rut.

"The players are working as hard as they can to get out of it but at the moment things aren't happening.

"Once we went down the heads started to drop and the last two tries of the first half took them out of sight.

"A 20-point deficit at half-time and we have might have been ok."


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