Harpenden ran in six tries in their convincing 32-3 home win over Fullerians on Saturday.
Three of these were scored by right wing Tom Muskett. On the downside, only one of these was enhanced by a conversion which Muskett took himself after previous attempts at goal by other recognised kickers had failed.
The absence of Aaron Wilde, who normally performs this task, was significant and overall the conversion rate both of penalties and tries was at an all-time low.
The scoring began in the first four minutes when Muskett ran through at least six players to score at the Redbourn end. Muskett then displayed an ability to control and dribble the ball as he rounded his opposite number to make it 10-0 after only six minutes.
Fullerians recovered their composure and managed to make their mark. It wasn’t long before their persistence was rewarded with a penalty which fly-half Dan Evans converted.
Harpenden were briefly under the cosh as time and again the referee penalised them for minor infringements but the visitors were unable to capitalise from their good fortune. Harpenden, too, missed a number of chances to dominate the match, missing four penalty attempts in the first half.
The scoring of a third try by Tom Baker gave the home side a modicum of relief to take with them into the next stage of the game. In the second half, tries by Sean Longden, Charlie Howard and Muskett ended any chance of a comeback.