Stamford Town RFC 119 Wellingborough OG 5
A RAMPANT Stamford Town outclassed their opposition on Saturday beating Wellingborough Old Grammarians by a massive margin, breaking records on the way.
Town scored the highest ever number of points in a league fixture and recorded the greatest winning margin in the club’s history.
Despite a starting line-up including two debutants and a change at hooker due to a midweek injury to Oli Story, it was a feast of running rugby with vice-captain Matthew Albinson leading the side for the first time.
The game was open and expansive from the first whistle with Stamford’s impressive pack winning the ball in dominant fashion.
Stamford delivered the ball quickly to the wider channels where the potency of Stamford’s attack was far too much for a Wellingborough side who looked shell-shocked.
The bonus point was secured within the first 15 minutes and from thereon in, Stamford made inroads.
Wellingborough attempted to slow the game down – leaving hands in after the referee had announced a ruck was formed and finding themselves rolling onto the wrong side at tackles – but Stamford, including personnel that in the past were shy in giving their opinions, simply got on with their game. The opposition’s negative tactics at the breakdown were countered by superior technique and aggression and the scoreboard kept ticking over.
Richard Justice ran in a record-breaking tally of seven tries, taking his personal tally for the season to 15 and breaking a long standing record at the club for most tries scored by a single player in one game.
He was assisted by outstanding work in the scrummage and lineout from a forward pack that worked tirelessly for the entire 80 minutes, and the inside backs’ supply played a pivotal role in giving Justice the opportunity to deliver such a devastating performance.
The front row of Liam Tate, Cameron Park and Simon Stenning secured their own ball without mistake and forced Wellingborough off theirs on several occasions, creating a turnover ball the rest of the side fed off.
The return of Jack Eifion-Jones at open-side after several weeks out with swollen fingers and the debut at number 8 of Adam Rimmer, alongside the weekly grafter that is Bruce Parker, proved to be a formidable back row. They balanced the need to win balls and the requirement to act as a second attack wave with great intelligence.
James Ragg and Jake Wilkins worked tirelessly all afternoon, bursting from their own 22 yard to the opposition 22 yard on numerous occasions. Their work was rewarded when Ragg stretch out over the line to score.
The overall forward play was dynamic and allowed Ross and Albinson to direct play throughout the contest, supplying quick accurate balls for the three-quarters to run onto.
Communication and organisation was a highlight of a backline performance and passes went to hand at pace with the Stamford backs unstoppable for the entire the game.
Tom Lindley, Craig Felston, Rich Justice and Calvin Young ran committed lines all afternoon and were well supported by the subtle hands and decision making of inside centre Andrew Morris. Robbie Smith came on at half-time to replace Laurent Ross, who moved out on to the wing only to watch as Justice received all the ball down the opposite wing.
Stamford lie second, hot on the heels of Biggleswade, in the Midlands 4 East (South) division, and Saturday’s skipper, Albinson paid testimony to his side’s performance.
He said: “The teams’ performance is improving week on week. This, coupled with the introduction of new recruits and an increasingly competitive squad with strength in all areas, sets us in good stead to fight on all fronts.
“The cups are important to us because as players we all look forward to running out in a final but the league title remains the ultimate prize and the one that we shall gauge our season’s success upon.
“This side may have re-written the record books for now but what is more important is that without doubt it has the potential to deliver an overdue league title and with it promotion.”
Stamford face Aylestone Athletic tomorrow in what must be a bonus-point-win to maintain the pressure on Biggleswade.
Stamford Town squad: Simon Stenning, Cameron Park, Liam Tate, Jake Wilkins, James Ragg, Bruce Parker, Jack Eifion-Jones, Adam Rimmer, Laurent Ross, Matthew Albinson, Andrew Morris, Tom Lindley, Calvin Young, Rich Justice, Craig Felston, Robby Smith, James Allan, Steve Jordan.