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01 Sep 2021

Old Albanian 38pts  Harpenden 14pts

A pleasant Autumn evening attended rugby’s return to Woollams after an absence of a season and a half and the two sides attended to their duties terrier like, almost as if there had never been a break. The scoreline reflected the League difference between the teams but, for much of this good natured encounter, it would have been difficult to discern much of a gap. In fairness to both parties the hosts had a little more accuracy and a tad more pace in certain areas which is to be expected. The visitors can feel proud of their efforts and their attitude and will reflect happily on the two neat back moves which brought a try in each half, both times scything through the narrowest of gaps in an otherwise staunch OA defence.

Head Coach Dan George was pleased with the application of a somewhat rookie side who should knit well together as the League campaign develops but it will take a few weeks, he feels, before all can be completely confident in each others’ company.

The stated strategy is to move the ball at speed and, if the evidence of last Friday is any yardstick, the process is well begun. Summing up, the possession gained was smartly retained by a lively pack who were excellent in the lineout but who have some work to do at scrum time. The backs displayed aggression at half back, intelligent strength in midfield, and rampant pace was the watchword at the back.

Work at the breakdown left little to be desired and aggressive tackling in all positions limited Harpenden’s opportunities operating as they were mostly closer to their own line than they would have wished.

The season proper starts next Saturday with a visit to Henley Hawks. Kickoff 15.00hrs.

Brian Quinn,


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