Luton slump to heaviest defeat

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There was little pre-Christmas cheer for Luton on Saturday as they slumped to their heaviest London One North defeat of the season, losing 41-8 at Letchworth.

The hosts seemed hell-bent on avenging Luton’s 30-24 win earlier in the campaign and opened the scoring on two minutes when rapid winger Gurere Tatinda went over.

Simon Hrbek was unable to follow up with his conversion, while Luton had their first points when Rick Hobbs kicked a penalty.

This seemed to stir Letchworth back to life, as they gained headway into Luton’s half, and scored a try through Luke Mongston in the 14th minute, to make it 10-3, as another Hrbek conversion went wide.

As the game wore on, Luton gradually asserted pressure only to see Hobbs’ penalty attempt off target.

However, Luton kept pushing forward and went over as Scott Aspinall touched down in the corner, but Hobbs missed the extras.

The visitors were a man down on 26 minutes when Wright saw yellow after a bust up on the touch-line, as Letchworth quickly took advantage and Tatinda crossed for his second.

Hrbek couldn’t convert, while Hobbs also failed with a penalty, as Letchworth moved 20-8 in front when Richard Streets executed a brilliant hand-off on Aspinall and dotted down.

At the interval, Luton brought on Tesh Edwards for Aspinall, with Letchworth going further ahead as James Tirrell went over, while Hrbek added the extras.

On 53 minutes, Letchworth started to move out of sight as Streets touch down and Hrbek’s conversion made it 34-8. Thomas Ansell added the last try and Hrbek’s boot made it 41-8.

Luton director of rugby Paul Allen said: “It was always going to be a difficult game, and one of the areas we need to improve on is our kicking.”

Luton host North Walsham in their next fixture on January 3.