LONDON THREE NORTH WEST
ANDY Smart was relieved to see Harrow get off to a winning start at Datchworth on Saturday, but believes the first real test for his newly-promoted side will come this weekend.
Harrow ran out 17-16 winners over the Hertfordshire outfit but it came at a cost as skipper Dave West (pictured) suffered a suspected broken rib during the contest.
West’s absence could be felt against early favourites Grasshoppers on Saturday as chairman Smart reckons his Harrow side will need all the help they can get.
He said: “We lost the first game of the season last year, so it was better than that, but we had four absolutely golden chances in the second-half and what ended up being a pretty tight game could’ve been a comfortable win. We didn’t take our chances.
“We were outplayed up front though and that’s the first time that’s happened in a long while, so that just shows what a difference there is in the levels. It’s much quicker in this new division.
“It’s Grasshoppers for us at the weekend and they seem to be the form team.
“They had a big win in the Middlesex bowl and a good win on Saturday, so that’ll be a good indication of where we are.”
Harrow had Chris Armstrong’s dominant display in the lineout to thank for their opening-day victory at Datchworth.
The whole back row was on form, while player-coach Chris West and new-boy Lewis Gunn did the damage at the other end with tries.
A penalty and two goals from Christian Witney completed the scoring for Harrow, playing their first game in the London leagues after winning Herts/Middx One last season.