The final away trip of the season is bottom vs top with a visit to Verulamians. Just two wins and two bonus points make a sorry record for our hosts and only a bonus point win would give them the slightest chance of avoiding the drop to Herts/Middx 1. A points difference three times worse than any other team in the league tells the tale of the season. The first game may have given them some hope with ‘just’ a 20-10 defeat at Kilburn but they went on to concede 181 points in the next three matches with only 14 in reply. Signs of improvement showed for the next few games but crushing score lines against OMTs (5-43), London Welsh (46-5) and Datchworth (0-50) left them rooted to the bottom of the table at the halfway stage. The second half of the season brought no better fortune with Harrow (5-58), Streetonians (82-3) Stevenage (70-12), Finchley (5-65), OMTs (66-12) and Cheshunt (12-57) all piling on the points.
Verulamians conceded five first half tries when they came to ODP at the beginning of December and trailed 36-0 at the break. The second half was less productive for Welsh, two unconverted tries added a further ten points and Verulamians scoring their only points with a try in the closing stages. This is one of the thirteen league games this where the 1st XV have held the opposition to single figures, an impressive achievement that has given them a defence record that is bettered by only two teams in the entire RFU league structure.The win record isn’t bad either and, according to Head Coach Cai Griffiths, is better than the All Blacks. Who are we to question anything Cai says!
London Welsh go into the last three games of the season knowing that they are promoted but with the focus remaining on going up as league champions. The chase goes on for the other promotion spot although Datchworth are in prime position with a nine point advantage over Streetonians and Stevenage.
If Saturday’s match at Verulamians goes to form then London Welsh should add to their 98 tries and break through the 100 mark. David Gabe leads the individual records with an impressive 18 tries in the league this season.
There's also plenty on offer off the pitch with chicken curry, chilli and vegetarian chilli available plus there's hog roast, crackling, stuffing and apple sauce all served in jumbo rolls!
Kick off off is at 3pm. Cotlandswick, North Orbital Road, London Colney, AL2 1DW.
London 3 North West fixtures (and league positions):
Finchley (10) v Kilburn Cosmos (11)
Cheshunt (8) v Old Streetonians (3)
Verulamians (12) v London Welsh (1)
Old Merchant Taylors’ (5) v Datchworth (2)
Royston (9) v Harrow (7)
Stevenage Town (4) v Tabard (6)
It is also a big day for the London Welsh Druids as they head to Grasshoppers for their MMT1 play-off semi-final. Kick off is at 2.30pm.