Rugby St Andrews 10
STAMFORD Town RFC returned to league action on Saturday with an outstanding performance on the back of a two week lay off.
It was a huge game for fourth-placed Stamford, taking on third. The loser could almost say goodbye to promotion chances and Town held their nerve to emerge with a big victory.
Skipper Oli Story was delighted and said: “We were desperate to get back on the park and that showed in the intensity of the performance. It was one of the best openings to a game we have made all season.”
The home team dominated the early exchanges with forwards Cripps, Raggs and Green constantly getting over the gain line. Rugby St Andrews struggled to live with the pace and width of Stamford’s play and after only five minutes Bruce Parker scampered over to score after a series of drives.
The visitors seemed intent on kicking for territory and the back three of Laurent Ross, Justin Bland and Richard Thompson counter attacked positively. The back row of Jack Eifion-Jones, Bruce Parker and Frank Wiese were a permanent torment for their opponents and after 10 minutes Thompson rounded off a sweeping move to score.
Mark Taylor benefitted from some accurate distribution from Albinson and Lindley to leave Rugby staring at a mountain to climb after 20 minutes as he smashed over to take the score to 20.
Despite some pressure from Rugby’s larger pack, Stamfords ability to remain lower and “smarter” around the breakdown kept them in front. Taylor and Story made great ground, supported by Tom Gulland, and the ever-present Robbie Smith put James Green away down the short side to canter under the posts to secure the bonus point at 30-10.
Coach David Laventure was delighted, saying: “The bonus point win to push us into third was massive and gets us back into promotion contention.
“We will make sure the boys don’t get carried away and will take it ‘one game at a time’ as they say.”
Stamford play Queens away from home tomorrow.
Stamford College Old Boys 5
COLLEGE travelled to Stoneygate on Saturday after their last two games had been postponed due to the weather and almost inevitably both sides showed signs of rustiness.
College were short in some areas with several regular players missing and this led to opportunities being given to some of the new and younger squad members. Every player gave 100 percent in what is traditionally a tough but well-tempered fixture.
Paul Wright tackled like a man possessed and Kevin Pulley, on his return to the side, gave a performance driven by aggression and determination, which he capped with a fine try down the wing after beating three opposition tacklers.
In tough conditions the back line performed well as a unit, particularly the centres of Wilby and Young, with support from Briggs, Ireland, Chapman and DeSalis.
Despite the strong performances of the College players, the opposition were more clinical, had the greater attacking threat and were the deserved winners.
College captain James Tindall said: “There were many positives in our performance today. We need to continue to build on these and win the games we are targeting to achieve a respectable mid-table position.”
Training is on Wednesdays (7-8pm) at Stamford School gym and on Thursday (6.30-8pm) at the Queen Eleanor School. Players of all abilities are welcome.