Watford 12 22 Cuffley
Cuffley bounced straight back from last week's disappointment of losing away at Saracens by winning a hard fought, if at times scrappy, cup and league doubleheader at Watford. Cuffley had more than a few changes in personnel from last week but the boys that stepped up did themselves and the club proud.
Watford fielded a very strong team and the first half was a hard fought battle with our plan to play a fast game up front against their big pack and give our backs the chance to move the ball wide to be honest we struggled at the breakdowns and the clean ball we hoped for didn't materialize. Watford scored first with a quick tap close to our line that was grounded under the post for a 7 point score. At this point we realised we needed to get into our game, we started to clear the breakdowns and give Dan ball we could use, with front foot ball we started to play, a ruck midfield gave Michael Stevens space he drew the defence and put Willy away to sprint under the posts to score, Will Payne added the 2 for 7 points all.
Cuffley had their tails up and piled the pressure on to the home team and should have put the game beyond Watford with Michael Stevens making a fine break stepping the defence and touch down only for the ref to miss the grounding and not give the score, this was followed by two more missed opportunities with the passes judged forward. We finally took the lead from a five meter scrum Dan Pearce scored a great scrum half's sniping try putting the ball down one handed, against some strong defence, Will missed a sitter and the half score was Watford 7 v 12 Cuffley. Watford really flew out of the blocks and looked to be getting on top with their big pack keeping the ball tight, this meant they had no width and the narrow game was stopped time and again by our fine defence with Michael, Daisy and Will standing their ground, but in the end their tactics paid off as they scored again close to the posts the kick was missed and we went into the last quarter score even at 12 pts all.
Cuffley refused to give in and again took the game to Watford with Matt Deamer returning everything that came his way and Big Ross McBride punching holes on his return to the team, pressure told and we were awarded a penalty Will Payne stepped up and slotted a fine kick making a difficult kick look easy for a 3 point lead, again Watford came back and the last 10 minutes seemed much longer, we kept our discipline but the ref saw it differently awarding Watford a kickable penalty they chose to go for the lineout to win the match, but our boy's never give up and although Tredders knocked the ball on he stopped their plan to drive the lineout, we won the resulting scrum against the head and cleared our lines.
With our backs chasing the kick we forced the turnover Matt Jones pushed the ball beyond their defence and with Watford back peddling and Daisy and Will bearing down on the ball but in an offside position Matt Deamer outstripped everyone to ground the loose ball, Will added the 2 points from the touchline. Final score 22 v 12 to Cuffley.
This result proves to me that we have a great group of players that don't know when they are beaten and play for each other we had more than a few boys out this week but the team that played were outstanding our regular front row again did what they do best but away from the scrum and lineout they made big tackles and got about the park, our lineout was brilliant with Tredders at the front and Eric dominant in the middle for this reason they were both awarded MOTM.
The back row also put in a great shift with Phil at eight and Perry both carrying injuries played the whole game, Matt Jones played open side and had a quality game and was close to winning MOTM. Dan struggled a bit with their big pack but all credit to him he stuck at it and got the pack over the ball for the platform we craved and scored a fine try. Cuffley's backs kept us in the game with their solid defence and desire to score tries. A great result well deserved. H