Saturday’s visit to Tring was a game of two halves for the Romans. Before kick off the coaching team spoke about making sure A’s got the fast start that has deserted the team throughout pre-season. Unfortunately this seemed to fall on deaf ears as the home side’s early pressure resulted in a well-deserved opening score.
With the penalty count mounting for inability to control the contact area despite warnings from the referee the defence succumbed again minutes later as Tring scored another well worked try. At this point the writing seemed to be on the wall as early as the 20th minute but, full back Alex Ricci was not accepting this fate. On two separate occasions Tring kicked the ball long to relieve pressure only to find Ricci in the mood to tear through their defence. His first resulting in a score for Tom Rush in the corner after a fantastic 50 metre run and offload, but Ricci was not done. He almost set up another try and if it had not been for a poor offload from an A’s forward the score would have been in the away sides favour. Thankfully on his third sortie into enemy territory Albanians did get the score that gave them the lead.
Poor discipline again allowed Tring back into the contest before right wing Elvin Grant busted through for his second of the game to take the score to 19 -15. Tring hit back with another penalty before half time to shave the lead to one point. In truth A’s did not deserve to be ahead.
The second half was a different story. Ewan Starling, who had been forced into 9 after an injury to Ash Willing in the warm up, and John Wicks began to dictate play. Tom Smith in the centres and the newly introduced Michel Hogan were now frequently busting through the Tring defensive line and putting Albanians on the front foot. Both scored excellent tries which helped the visitors take control the game. Alongside Ricci, Grant and the ever dangerous Bridger it seems as though they could score from every attack.
The forward pack led by the excellent captain Michael Bond and lineout leader Alfie Hill started to take control of the set piece as well as reducing the error count nullified a very willing Tring pack with some strong carries and work around the corner to tire out the hosts.
In the last 10 minutes A’s camped in the Tring 22 and shut the game down professionally to finish 41-18 winners , conceding no points In the second half.
Based on the second half display the Romans have the ability to match and in most cases outplay all teams in this league but must begin the games as they finished. The squad will work hard to address this and ensure they are firing from the off for the next game where we travel to Richmond. #TheOAsAreHappy
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