Match Report: Welwyn 12 – 24 London Nigerian

London Nigerian returned from a long away trip with a bonus point win

LNRFC travelled to Welwyn to put last week’s disappointing loss behind them. The message all week had been about raising the level of intensity and keeping play simple. It was clear this had been taken on board from as early as the warm up. When the game kicked off the Playas were committed in defence and attacked as a team. The first try came when a penalty was kicked to touch, the lineout was won and the rolling maul saw Joe Macdonald score.

LNRFC were playing their best rugby for some time, maintaining possession with phases from forwards and backs and the second try was the perfect example of this. The forwards gained ground by running hard with support and eventually the ball was spun wide for fullback Chris Morgan to join the line and find space to score. The wide pitch gave the Playas’ backs the opportunity to exploit holes in the midfied and Adam Foley capitalised, breaking the line and then leaving the opposition full back grasping at air with a wonderful side step. Morgan converted- 0-17.

It had been a fast and ferocious start to the match both in attack and defence and perhaps this was why in the second 20 minutes LNRFC’s intensity dropped. Welwyn gained confidence as London Nigerian’s tackling became more passive and they gave away a multitude of penalties. Their first try was a direct result of consecutive penalties as one of their large ball carriers crashed over and it was then converted. LNRFC couldn’t seem to lift their game and missed tackles saw a second try for Welwyn as they scored out wide. Half time score of 12-17.

Coach Joe Mbu had some strong words on accountability for the team at half time. They appeared to have an effect, especially in the forwards as the LNRFC scrum began to take control. The bonus point try for the Playas came from a Welwyn error. After multiple attempts at the line  earlier in the half LNRFC decided to kick a penalty. Morgan’s effort was unsuccesful however Welwyn’s player stepped over the try line before grounding to leave London Nigerian with a 5 metre scrum. Number 8 Sean Baker broke from the scrum offloaded to Freddie Chalke whose fine pass allowed winger Joe Harris to score in the corner, converted by Morgan, 12-24.

The closing moments of the game were disrupted by a serious looking injury to a Welwyn player. The game was moved to an adjacent pitch for the final 5 minutes. The game restarted with LNRFC on their own 5 metre line. Valiant defence saw the home side driven back again and again and the game finished 12-24.

A satisfying victory for the Playas after a tough start to the season. Man of the match was scrum half Freddie Chalke foor a brilliant all round performance in both defence and attack.

Next week London Nigerian are at home against H.A.C. It’s a fixture that has produced a number of exciting games over the years so please come to Heston to show your support.