Hatfield 1's Bite Back
By Dan Boniface
Hatfield 1's Bite Back
Having been promoted last season the 3rd team travelled to Hatfield to play their feisty 1st team. We felt well prepared after a great pre-season and were confident in our ability. The warm up was going well when the referee said we had 15 minutes until kick off, a rush and panic set in as we thought we had plenty of time on our hands, this wasn't the first mistake the referee made!! We went back to the changing room, switched on and ready to do battle when he appeared again and said he had made a mistake and we had another 20 minutes till kick off!!
When the match finally got underway it was clear we had a battle on our hands. Hatfield had some very strong backs and it is fair to say their defence was excellent throughout. Only beaten in the backs half way through the first half after some strong forward play and some sublime hands from the Tring backs for Rory Bowness to score in the corner.
The Tring forwards dominated the set piece and will feel aggrieved at having not won the game. Tring scored two pushover tries, one from Mike Stranders and the other from Gareth Haywood, with another disallowed for no reason at all from Sam McCartney.
Halfway through the 2nd half Tring conceded a try with a very forward pass, in fairness the build up play from a Hatfield was good. With 15 minutes remaining Tring were told we were 4 points behind. We set about working our way up the pitch to clinch the win. With three 5 metre scrums re-set and a pushover try imminent the referee again made some strange decisions and their fly half somehow ended up with the ball and raced towards our line. Tommy Ward made the cover tackle and held the man up only to be bitten on the hand. A penalty ensued with no sanctions and Tring once again made their way up the pitch with either Gaz or Stranders scoring with the last play of the game (I can't remember who).
The ref then informed us that we were behind by 1 point! Needing a difficult kick from the right hand touchline to win Dan Boniface scraped the left hand upright. The game was lost. With better discipline and being a bit more clinical we should have won this game. This was a proper game of rugby, physical and enjoyable. Onwards and upwards.