Welwyn still on their journey despite Herts Tankard loss
PUBLISHED: 16:00 02 May 2017 | UPDATED: 16:00 02 May 2017
Gareth Hughes is convinced that Welwyn's Herts Presidents' Tankard defeat to Stevenage Town is just a small blip on the road to bigger and better things for his side.
Welwyn slipped to a 36-7 loss against their county rivals at Saracens’ Allianz Park and comes at the end of a season which saw them relegated from London North West Two.
But Hughes, coach at the Hobbs Way-based rugby club, is still confident of future glory.
He said: “We’re on a bit of a journey at the moment. We’ve got a really young team. We’ve been working on getting a team spirit and unity and we’re getting there.
“It wasn’t great today but we’ll move on to next year.
“We know what we need to do to improve. The skill set is there and the players are really honest; they know that fitness is going to be core over the summer and we’re looking forward to next year.
“We’d expect to be there or thereabouts next year.”
They will come up against Stevenage next season and Town, who finished just outside the promotion places in third this time around, will be considered as one of the favourites to go up.
It meant that this game was an early indication of how the two sides will go next term and there was enough to suggest that they will be fairly evenly matched, despite the score.
Welwyn were rocked by injuries throughout the game, notably to prop and vice captain Will Freeston and Rory Harcourt.
A higher than desired unforced error count was also a contributory factor as well as the form of Stevenage fly-half Dane Edge.
Hughes said: “Stevenage stuck to their game plan really well. Their number 10 was the star man, head and shoulders above everyone else. When it wasn’t on they just kicked it back to us and got field position.
“We just never got going. We did some uncharacteristic things that we didn’t speak about and it’s all part of the learning curve.
“We had a penalty five metres out and took a quick tap and we would have expected to make it 24-12, which would have made a big difference.
“But a couple of silly penalties and it’s up the other end and they score. Game over.
“Its small margins but we’ll learn from it.”
For the match report turn to page 55.