Welwyn RFC looking to add cup glory to promotion with Herts Tankard Final victory over Stevenage Town
PUBLISHED: 10:49 23 April 2015 | UPDATED: 10:49 23 April 2015
At the start of the season, Welwyn coach Ian Matthews set his burgeoning side three targets for the current campaign; achieve London Three North West promotion, win the Hertfordshire President's Tankard trophy and play at Twickenham via the RFU Senior Vase. Two out of three isn't bad according to Matthews.
Having secured promotion 11 days ago with an 100-0 annihilation of already relegated Old Streetonians, capturing the Herts Tankard with a Final win over rivals Stevenage at Saracens’ Allianz Park this Sunday would leave Matthews satisfied with completing two-thirds of his original goals.
Matthews said: “We had our targets at the start of the season and if we can deliver two of them, it would be a really good reward for the team.
“The lads have really bought into what I asked of them and trained as hard as they could this season and everything we put into the season, we have got out with rewards.
“We had an off day in the Vase against Bromley in January but we didn’t let that stop us achieving our other goals and that is credit to the lads and support behind the scenes, which has also been a major factor in our success.”
So it has been proved in sport so many times over the years, the favourites will not always come out as the victors on the grandest stages. This fact will serve as a portion of Matthews’ pre-match team talk before their Stevenage encounter, having thrashed the North Road side 91-0 on their way to promotion barely a month ago.
A lifeless Stevenage display rubberstamped the concession of 15 tries in that game so Welwyn’s head man expects their opponents to impliment a different form of assault to counteract his side’s quality this time around.
Matthews continued: “If we were in their shoes, we would perhaps try and target the breakdown and slow the game down.
“In our big win last month, Stevenage allowed us too much time to do what we wanted and we punished them so I am sure they will be wary of that.”
Welwyn will be without the influential Daniel Ashcroft, scorer of three tries and several conversions in the Stevenage stuffing, while Wayne Child plays his last game for the club, breaking the Child bond with fellow Welwyn star, brother Jono, before moving to Shropshire.
Nevertheless, Matthews is confident Welwyn, who are travelling down to Allianz Park tomorrow night to sample the pitch during a training session, can sign off from the 2014/15 season with more silverware.
He said: “For me, it is all about respect. If we respect the competition and our opposition, I think we will do well. It is our attention to detail that will win us the game.”
“It is a big pitch down there so we will try to exploit the space and get at them like we did last time.
“Overall though, it will be a good day out for everyone involved with the club. We are all looking forward to the game and hopefully we can reward their optimism with the victory.”