Stamford sink Northampton BBOB to maintain top spot in Midlands 3 East (South)
Stamford continued their impressive run of wins with a 51-5 bonus point score over Northampton BBOB on Saturday.
This keeps them at the top of Midlands 3 East (South) with four wins out of four.
Northampton came to Stamford after a good win against Spalding but were met with a very strong attacking opposition. From the whistle Stamford made it very clear their strategy – play fast and defend hard.
With a strong front row of James Green, Sam Hillary and Gareth Ramsden, Stamford pushed hard towards Northampton’s 22 and the break finally came after two minutes when Green pushed through the pack and got the first try for the hosts. With no conversion scored this set the score at 5-0.
The game settled down a bit after this with most of the game play in the centre.Northampton had a run of scrums but could not get over the gain line with the Stamford power.
Stamford continued to push with some lovely ball movement out wide and after 26 minutes Dan Griffin saw the gap and scored a fantastic try from Northampton’s 22 metre line. Unable to get the conversion, this put Stamford 10 points clear.
Stamford now had the flavour and, with a number of phases after the kick off, flanker Jack Jones got Stamford’s third try after 30 minutes of play. Again Stamford couldn’t get the conversion leaving the score at 15-0.
Northampton were looking tired and welcomed the half-time whistle to regroup and refocus.
Both sides came out for the second half with a determination to score tries. Northampton were certainly fired up and took a lot of the ball but, again, Stamford defended strong and pushed back.
With a scrum awarded to Stamford near BBOB’s 22, Lewis Nettleton saw space on the blind-side and got the home side's fourth try plus the bonus point. With a conversion from Ollie Johnson, the score was now 22-0.
Straight from the kick-off though, Northampton looked determined. Playing down the middle they used their forward pack to good effect, driving Stamford back and, after a number of pressuredphases, got the ball over the line to get their first points on the board. With no conversion scored this put the score at 22-5.
Stamford showed their dominance and immediately came back with a fast try from Mike Kendall to the corner and a conversion from Johnson making it 29-5.
Stamford then showed why they are top of the table with tries from captain Robbie Smith (64), Gareth Ramsden (73), Harry Bentley (77) and Iain Downer (80) plus one conversion from Bentley giving the final score of 51-5 at the whistle.
Michael O’Connor, senior section manager, said: “This was a great performance from the team and showed how we can adapt our game when needed.
"We had a fantastic turn out of supporters which really made it a great afternoon of rugby.”
Head coach Auz Schwarz added: "We knew Northampton were looking for a win and would be strong in the centre but we employed various tactics to break this down and take control which showed in the result.
"This has put us in a really positive position for next Saturday’s big derby against Oakham, not just points on the table but the way we work as a team, how we adapt and how we play our rugby.”
Stamford: James Green, Sam Hillary, Gareth Ramsden, Tom Wire, Dan Griffin, Jack Jones, Mike Kendall, Bruce Parker, Robbie Smith, Harry Bentley, James Stables, Ollie Johnson, Martin Bagnall, Harry Ayton, Iain Downer, Fergal McNamara, Dan Heard, Lewis Nettleton
Stamford next match is the big local derby away at Oakham on Saturday (3pm). The second team will also be playing Oakham, kick off at 1.30pm.