Crows fall short against local rivals Verulamians
By Lee Gilbert
Royston fall to disappointing defeat but the season is still young!
For the second home game in a row, Royston were met with unseasonably terrible weather conditions for their match with local rivals Verulamians, making expansive rugby a tough ask. This coupled with the fact that the Royston scrum coach had taken a few key personnel abroad for some extra “training” ensured Royston would be in for a hard battle, and so it proved. Verulamians were the dominant team in the first half, maintaining possession and building a 12-0 lead which they completely merited as Royston struggled to get into the game. As much as Royston tried to respond, they just couldn’t get on the scoreboard and remained 12 points adrift at the half.
Attempting to regroup at half time with fresh personnel introduced from the bench, Royston found themselves further adrift early in the second half as Verulamians scored a third try to extend the lead to 17-0. Again, for the second game in succession, this finally sparked Royston into action and they began to edge their way into the game, allowing second row Jon Brain to score under the sticks, easily converted by scrum half Adam Smith to reduce arrears to 17-7. As Royston pushed for further rewards, Verulamians were unfortunately able to add a fourth try for a bonus point, securing the game in the process. However, Royston did have the final say with Captain Ben Ritsema crossing for a well-deserved try, again converted by Smith for a final score of 22-14, just missing out on a losing bonus point.
Next up is probably one of Royston’s toughest assignments of the season, away to London Welsh in front of a large crowd at Old Deer Park on the 20th of October. However, after two highly competitive games last season, and with two weeks of training to put right the errors of last Saturday, Royston know they can put on a performance deserving of much reward.