Rugby: Stanford make Buccaneers walk the plank

Stanford U17s 22 v 10 Chelmsford Buccaneers U17s

The U17s put on another good show at Stanford Rec. this Sunday with Chelmsford Buccaneers visiting for a friendly. The tackling from both sides was ferocious and hard hitting. Chelmsford had the bigger, more experienced pack of forwards but the Stanford lads were more mobile and tenacious to rucks and mauls.

The home side weathered early pressure and worked their way up field to score an excellent try against the run of play. Flying winger Nathan Dawson sped through the narrowest gaps on the blind side and scampered over the line. Chelmsford raised their game and put together a powerful drive and were rewarded with a try of their own. Stanford replied with some scintillating, counter attacking back play with Conor Hale and Harry Bettis linking up well and No 8 Mark O’Connell popping up at the right time to support and score the home team’s second try. Stanford centres Jared Gounden and Luke Dawson showed slick handing skills and good communication making inroads every time they got the ball and if it wasn’t for some great tacking by their opposition, would have scored on numerous occasions.

Chelmsford came back again strongly and put Stanford on the back foot. Hands in the ruck gave away a penalty the Chelmsford forwards battered the line. A resolute defence stopped phase after phase of attacks but finally succumbed with a controversial try in the dying seconds of the first half. Stanford protested as they felt they had got under the ball but the referee had awarded the try and wasn’t going to change his decision.

The second half saw a number of changes to the Stanford side and the fresh legs made an instant impact. Ndabe Chagoboza and Harry Bettis were outstanding in their first game in the Stanford colours. Vice captain Michael Kites came on at full back and scored a superb individual effort out flanking all would be tacklers and scoring under the posts making an easy conversion for No 10, Adam Ward.

A few minutes later Captain Jack Egar got his name on the score sheet with a determined run linking up with his back line and scoring a try. Ward was was denied the conversion as the crossbar cruelly deflected the ball.

Chelmsford battled on and to their credit looked like they were going to score on a number of occasions but the red men stood firm and kept a clean sheet for the second half.

Final Score Stanford 22 Chelmsford Buccaneers 10

Coaches and parents were impressed with the whole team’s performance and look forward to a successful season ahead.

Next week the U17s travel to play Kent side Dartfordians.

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