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1st XV (Men) - Match centre

Royston
Tabard
C Ellis (2)
Tries
Unknown, Unknown, Unknown, Unknown, Unknown
W Dacey (2)
Conversions
Unknown, Unknown, Unknown
W Dacey (3)
Penalties
Sat 17 Nov 14:30 - London & SE Division - London 3 North West Full time Attendance 50

Crows go down fighting but rue a sluggish start

Royston never gave up on the weekend but eventually went down 31-23 after giving Tabard a 14-0 head start within 5 minutes.

After a great result on the road in Kilburn last time out, Royston were hoping to continue their uplift in form at home to Tabard. As per usual, several personnel and positional changes were made, but the 8th different centre partnership of the season in flanker Lee Gilbert and centre Chris Ellis still took to the field with optimism!

The Crows started very slowly, with possession lost from the opening kick-off and Tabard quickly turning this into a 7-0 lead after less than two minutes. This continued shortly afterwards as ill-discipline allowed Tabard to kick for the corner, where their pack further extended the lead to 14-0 with less than five minutes on the clock. Rattled, but undeterred, Royston began the fight back directly from the re-start, with an excellent kick chase from winger Dan Ritsema forcing a penalty that full back Will Dacey slotted for Royston’s first points of the day. Tabard attempted to re-stablish their foothold on the game, but in their next real spell of possession, centre Ellis intercepted Tabard ball in his own half and took it all the way to the end zone for Dacey to easily slot the extra points to reduce the score to 14-10 after fifteen minutes. Royston continued to build on this renaissance, with Dacey unlucky not to slot another three points from the half-way line but the Crows forced another pen shortly afterwards as the Tabard second row took out outside half Will Cottrell off the ball for ten minutes on the side-line and another three points from Dacey, 14-13 and Royston in the ascendancy.

However, once more the kick-off went unclaimed in the low winter sun and Tabard began to build once more. Continual charges at the Royston defence began to take their toll, with evergreen veteran Jamie Green departing injured for the even more evergreen Jason Turkington, fresh from his exerts at the Old Courthouse bar in Royston the night before. However, Tabard retained possession well and after a great break by their inside centre, continued the attack to the left-hand corner where Royston simply ran out of numbers, conversion missed but lead extended to 19-13. Once more, Royston rose to the challenge, with forwards carrying hard at their Tabard counterparts and the backs starting to create space out wide, and it was from these gains that Royston scored the try of the day. Quickly recycled ball from the pack was spread wide by scrum half Smith and Cottrell, with Gilbert holding the ball up enough to put Ritsema in space down the left. The winger beat two men easily before he was dragged down just inside the Tabard 22 but still managed to off-load to the supporting Gilbert, who in turn managed to find the supporting Ellis with a further off-load for his second score of the day. The conversion from Dacey put Royston ahead for the first time as the half neared its close. Tabard weren’t quite done and after retaining the ball, hammered away at the Royston defence continually for a full five minutes, but the Crows held fast. Big hits by hooker Ollie London, Captain Jon Brain and the entire back row of Meacham, Whittingham and Butcher repelled Tabard, until the ball was finally spilt, and possession turned over. With just a scrum to negotiate until half time, the ball was unfortunately knocked on and Tabard took full advantage, pushing over the resultant scrum for another unconverted try right on half time, Royston 24-20 behind at oranges.

Royston vs. Tabard Photos - 17/11/18
20 photos

At half time, Royston knew they could get the W if they just managed to retain possession and execute their chances. Discipline would be key, as well as continuing to make those crucial first up tackles. In the only half-time change, Whittingham departed injured for youngster Tom Donnellan.

Royston started the second half a lot better than the first, dominating possession and trying to get the ball wide wherever possible. Hard carries by prop Charlie Sparkes and second row Max Finney continued to get Royston on the front foot, but they just couldn’t retain possession at key times, especially at the line-out. However, Dacey did manage to slot a further penalty shortly before the sixty-minute mark to bring Royston within a single point with all to play for. To their credit, Tabard upped their game considerably shortly afterwards and started to make in-roads once again. Only desperate defence prevented them scoring from two rolling mauls, but the pressure finally told shortly after. From a scrum Tabard carried hard into the Royston line, with Cottrell and Gilbert doing well to stop their outside half just short, but the ball was quickly recycled, and they scored in the corner once more. Even more galling for the Crows was the excellent touchline conversion that followed that took them outside of losing bonus point territory whilst also needing two scores for the win. Gilbert subsequently departed injured and James O’Sullivan was introduced to the fray as the Royston looked to fight back one final time.

To their credit, Royston fought back and dominated the last ten minutes of the game. Excellent breaks by number eight Butcher and winger Ritsema went unfulfilled, with the hard carries of Finney and winger Callum Morgan-McDermott starting to take their toll on all involved, with bodies continually left strewn all over the pitch. Still, Royston pushed for any last reward the game, and this was epitomised in the very last play of the game. Ellis took an excellent inside ball within his own 22 and make yards all the way up to half-way where he found O’Sullivan in support. With several men left over to the left, the ball was unfortunately spilled once more, and the chance was gone. A tough 31-23 loss to take, but one with plenty of positives and key areas to work on in the next few weeks.

Royston continue to find their feet in this league but must start to do so quickly as crucial points go begging. The Crows are more than competitive and capable of putting wins together at this level, but this requires eighty minutes of performance and increased numbers at training, items they will look to put right in the next few weeks before their next game away to Harrow on the 1st of December.

Quilter Kids First Skills Series: 1x1 rip

Key moments

1:00
Try Try for Tabard
1:30
Conversion Conversion for Tabard
6:00
Try Try for Tabard
6:30
Conversion Conversion for Tabard
8:00
Penalty Will Dacey kicks a penalty for Royston
12:00
Try Chris Ellis scores for Royston
12:30
Conversion Will Dacey kicks a conversion for Royston
21:00
Penalty Will Dacey kicks a penalty for Royston
28:00
Try Try for Tabard
35:00
Try Chris Ellis scores for Royston
35:30
Conversion Will Dacey kicks a conversion for Royston
40:00
Try Try for Tabard
55:00
Penalty Will Dacey kicks a penalty for Royston
65:00
Try Try for Tabard
65:30
Conversion Conversion for Tabard

Videos and photos

Royston vs. Tabard Photos - 17/11/18
20 photos

Highlights

View 0 new events
66:30 Sub On
James O'Sullivan is substituted on for Royston
66:00 Sub Off
Lee Gilbert is substituted off for Royston
65:30 Conversion 23 - 31
Conversion for Tabard
65:00 Try 23 - 29
Try for Tabard
55:00 Penalty 23 - 24
Will Dacey kicks a penalty for Royston
40:30 Sub On
Tomas Donellan is substituted on for Royston
40:00 Sub Off
Jonno Whittingham is substituted off for Royston
End of period 1
40:00 +0:30 Missed Conversion
Conversion missed for Tabard
40:00 Try 20 - 24
Try for Tabard
35:30 Conversion 20 - 19
Will Dacey kicks a conversion for Royston
35:00 Try 18 - 19
Chris Ellis scores for Royston
28:30 Missed Conversion
Conversion missed for Tabard
28:00 Try 13 - 19
Try for Tabard
25:30 Sub On
Jason Turkington is substituted on for Royston
25:00 Sub Off
Jamie Green is substituted off for Royston
21:00 Penalty 13 - 14
Will Dacey kicks a penalty for Royston
20:00 Yellow Card
Yellow card for Tabard
17:00 Missed Penalty
Will Dacey misses a penalty for Royston
12:30 Conversion 10 - 14
Will Dacey kicks a conversion for Royston
12:00 Try 8 - 14
Chris Ellis scores for Royston
8:00 Penalty 3 - 14
Will Dacey kicks a penalty for Royston
6:30 Conversion 0 - 14
Conversion for Tabard
6:00 Try 0 - 12
Try for Tabard
1:30 Conversion 0 - 7
Conversion for Tabard
1:00 Try 0 - 5
Try for Tabard
Start of the game
Replay game

As it happened

  • Royston
  • Tabard
  • 0
  • Try 1:00'
  • Conversion 1:30'
  • Try 6:00'
  • Conversion 6:30'
  • Will Dacey Penalty 8:00'
  • Chris Ellis Try 12:00'
  • Will Dacey Conversion 12:30'
  • Yellow Card 20:00'
  • Will Dacey Penalty 21:00'
  • Jamie Green Sub Off 25:00'
  • Jason Turkington Sub On 25:30'
  • Try 28:00'
  • Chris Ellis Try 35:00'
  • Will Dacey Conversion 35:30'
  • Try 40:00'
  • Jonno Whittingham Sub Off 40:00'
  • Tomas Donellan Sub On 40:30'
  • Will Dacey Penalty 55:00'
  • Try 65:00'
  • Conversion 65:30'
  • Lee Gilbert Sub Off 66:00'
  • James O'Sullivan Sub On 66:30'

Team selection

Dacey, Will Dacey, Will
Morgan-McDermott, Callum Morgan-McDermott, Callum
Ellis, Chris Ellis, Chris
Gilbert, Lee Gilbert, Lee
Ritsema, Dan Ritsema, Dan
Cottrell, Will Cottrell, Will
Smith, Adam Smith, Adam
Butcher, Joe Butcher, Joe
Meecham, J Meecham, J
Whittingham, Jonno Whittingham, Jonno
Braino Braino
Finney, Max Finney, Max
Sparkes, Charles Sparkes, Charles
London London
Green, Jamie Green, Jamie

League round up

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League table

# Team Pl Pts
6. Old Merchant Taylors' 14 40
7. Harrow 14 32
8. Cheshunt 14 30
9. Kilburn Cosmos 14 20
10. Royston 14 20
11. Finchley 14 12
12. Verulamians 14 10

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