Rushden 0 Stamford 25
STAMFORD ran out 25-0 winners on Saturday, securing a bonus point in the process to lift themselves to third in the table.
Inside of three minutes Stamford had scored. A quick tap penalty from Robby Smith saw him squeeze through a hole in Rushden’s defence. He had plenty of support and eventually found Jack Eifion-Jones with an offload. Jack had the try line in his sights when he was brought down just short but he calmly managed to feed the ball to flying Kiwi winger Henry Bridge for his first of two well-taken tries.
Stamford’s defence was solid throughout and they began to look like the side who took so much pride in their defence last season.
Whenever Rushden were pushing for a score, Stamford remained calm and the likes of Bruce Parker, Julian Criddle and Frank Wiese knocked attackers backwards, inviting their teammates to counter ruck aggressively and win turnover ball.
Adam Rimmer controlled the ball superbly at number 8 and Rob Smith went over for the third try leaving Stamford within reach of the four try bonus point with eight minutes left to play.
Wiese made a great break down the right to release Laurent Ross who dived over for five points with three minutes left.
Stamford were applauded off the pitch by a shell-shocked Rushden side who had not expected to lose.
Stamford captain Oli Story said: “It’s a job well done but we still have plenty to work on in training this week. We still are not operating to our potential.”
Stamford play Lincoln at home tomorrow 3pm.
Stamford 2nd 10 Southwell 2nd 12
STAMFORD 2nd XV fell short with a number of players missing
A defence that has barely been tested all season, leaked two fairly soft tries early on as Southwell took the momentum.
Excellent counter-attacking and cover tackling from fullback Hayden Johns kept Southwell from scoring further and put the territory into Stamford’s favour. Gradually Stamford began to get control of the game and clawed back territory after excellent lineout work from Pete Blythe.
Superb handling and interchange between backs and forwards saw captain Will Plummer go over just before the interval.
Stamford began to exert some authority on the game but .were frustrated by the slow pace as a strong Southwell park put the Stamford forwards under pressure.
In the dying minutes, after excellent work from the forwards, Steve Jordan went over to give Stamford hope of at least a draw.
The resulting conversion went wide and Stamford were left to rue missed opportunities.