We were prepared. A strong team assembled. The Gogs were ready. Five minutes in, as we were still limbering up, Welywn scored from a line out. We had talked about the opposition.s power in the maul and how we must hit their lineouts before they could gain any ground. For a second Pete Walsham and I stood off the maul but I urged him to join in and I stepped a yard closer. It was never their intention to maul us; they had arrived with a different team from the last encounter. They were never going to be a threat in the maul, our pack was equal if not better in every aspect of forward play but it was 5 minutes in, we didn't
know this. The quick release of the ball surprised us, Pete and I were stranded as the fly half sailed through a gap in our defence to score unchallenged. For the next 75 minutes our defence was solid, our judgement sound. That moment, it turned out, cost us the game. It hinged on that one lapse in our concentration.


Frustrating as it was to lose again by a small margin, what was that margin in reality: Will Roberts stopped three inches from the whitewash; Pete Walsham brought down agonisingly close on one of his many bull like runs; Ben Wallbank wonderful pick up from AJ's dart for the line to score in the first half nearly repeated in the second half, but not quite, Nuno hard running in midfield finding gaps only to be cover tackled, Shaun, orchestrating the back line, found space then space became a wall. Our unconditional go forward from practically every Gog thwarted by good tackling and often illegal slowing down of the ruck- the decision to go for a win rather kicking for a draw, a few wrong options, some knock ons along the way, was that the margin? Now in retrospect (the re-evaluation of the past through the mist of a Gog captain's hangover) it was a great game.

It was also a game where we can be proud of our developing set pieces. No longer are we the lightweight pack that submits to the mere grunt of the opposition's weighty scrum. A growing confidence in packing down has given us the edge in the last two games. (We are looking forward to being tested by Harpenden next week)

MOTM: The indomitable Pete Walsham