Ravens 1st (0) – Stanford 1st (46)
Stanford faced a very different Ravens side that came to the rec earlier in the season with home advantage Ravens were blessed with a large squad to face their visitors.
The first 10 minutes was very scrappy by Stanford and they couldn’t settle and get into the flow of their game. When a quick ball game out to the backs it was spun through the hands and ground was made towards the Ravens try line. As the ball was set into a ruck Ricky Percival took matters into his own hands and was only inches short of scoring, Ryan Edgeway repeated the move and this time Stanford scored their first try.
Ricky Percival was not to be disappointed by his near miss, when scrum half Dominic McDonald played a slick move from an attacking scrum, drawing the defenders and then off loaded to a rampaging Percival who crossed the line just on 26 minutes.
Stanford were still struggling to get a controlling hold over their hosts so making a tactical change the coaches sent on some of the bench and immediately it had an impact. Liam Morley coming on made two powerful hard hitting runs and when the third move came he was unstoppable closing the first half out at 15 – 0 to Stanford.
The 2nd half started well with lots of pressure from Stanford. A strong driving maul by the forwards lead to a ruck just metres away from the Ravens line. McDonald feed Sonny Smith who hit hard and low driving over to open the 2nd half scoring. Calum Reid stepped up and effortlessly slotted the conversion.
Stanford were keeping the play fresh with the injection of fresh legs but were dealt a devastating blow when Mark O’Connell was brought down and landed badly, resulting in the break of his Clavicle. Stanford regrouped and from an attacking lineout moved the ball from ruck to hands of the back line with Ricky Damm finishing off a great move in the corner.
Stanford was now in the driving seat but Ravens hadn’t given up but couldn’t tame the strength and determination of Morley who received a quick ball after an awarded penalty and he ran in under the Ravens posts. Reid made the extra two points with ease.
Ash Smith coming off the bench is making a habit of scoring and he again didn’t disappoint this weekend when he crashed over Ravens line pushing Stanford further ahead. Reid again added the extra two.
Troy Elkes rounded of a competent performance when he crossed the Ravens line for the 8th and final try almost on the whistle.
Stanford’s man of the man was awarded to Liam Morley for his well taken tries, defence work and support play. He could also have been awarded DOD when with only the Ravens Fullback to beat and a two on one he threw a forward pass.
Thurrock Ladies IIs (0) – Stanford Sirens (55)
Stanford Sirens hopped over to play Thurrock IIs in their second league encounter of the season. Confidence and hope were high but you can never underestimate anybody in this league.
The first 20 minutes were nervous and panicky as Sirens failed to deliver the last pass and let the adrenaline get the better of them. Then they settled. A lineout from a penalty kick was taken by Sophie Davies and shuffled to the back row where Amber Patience drew the fly half and popped to fellow flanker Sarah Bebbington to break the deadlock.
Moments later, the scrum pounded forward and forced the Thurrock scrum half to throw a wild pass, Bebbington was on it like a Victorian lace bonnet, scooped up the egg and touched down under the posts. Patience added the conversion 12-0 at half time
From the kick off the pack, in particular the front row; Karen Gibbs, Danielle Morley and Laura Wade were keeping the possession tight and making tracks up the pitch. Back 3 Chloe Gounden, Samantha Kemp and Danielle Harris went on numerous gazelle-like runs and kept the side line on its collective toes.
A scrum 5 minutes out from the home try line was shoved off the ball and number 9 Jess Chedwidden drove over to score in the corner. 17-0
Sirens craved that magic 4 try target and didn’t have to wait long. Again pressure was applied up front, Bebbington, Walshe and Natalie Ward continuously turned over more ball than a Gilbert factory. The ball shifted wide once more, Kirsty Moore to Kat Richardson, to Stephanie McInktosh, to Harris to fresh legged Lisa Gounden to score in the corner. 22-0
The momentum increased even further with Stanford dominating both scrum, lineout and breakdown. Rachel Crowhurst came from the bench to add some bite, and she bit hard! Instantly breaking through a stretched defence to add her name to the tally. Patience converted this one. 29-0
Kerri Bowden and Nikki Wilson then came on showing the strength in depth this passionate side now has. Both upped the intensity around the contact area. Once more the forwards made hard yards and sucked in defenders, this time McIntosh found the gaps she had threatened previously and scored. Patience got the extra 2, 36-0
The structured pattern continued, the pack driving on with the fans urging them forwards for another score. Pick and drives from Davies, Walshe and Patience took them closer. The ball popped out somewhere from the abyss of a ruck and Moore was quickest to react, flying through the air like a falcon and touching down. Again Patience slotted home the conversion 43-0
The next try came courtesy of some slick handling from the ever improving back line, feeding Kate Mitchell out on the wing who pinned her ears back to out run her opposite number and score in the corner.48-0
Bebbington completed her hat trick with a trade mark step and drive, bouncing off a would be tackler, the space opened up in front and she scored to take the score over 50. Patience got her last points of the game.
Final score 55-0 Players of the day were Forward: Karen Gibbs Backs: Lisa Gounden & Kate Mitchell
The last meeting between these two sides had Westcliff under perform, so it was expected that Westcliff would be keen to make amends for their last below standard performance.
Stanford from the off had all the territory and made the most of the play keeping Westcliff penned back. The first try came when Matty Hook was fast to react and strong enough to drive himself over the line. A good Stanford scrum close to the Westcliff line allowed Hook the time and control he needed to open the scoring.
Stanford were in control of the game but forced the final pass or didn’t make the final pass otherwise they would have scored several more points before James Colbert crossed the try line just on 11 minutes. Ben Kelly had drawn two players and off loaded a perfectly weighted ball onto the winger who out paced his opposite number.
Westcliff u15s (17) – Stanford u15s (17)
The next score came from Westcliff very much against the run of play and off a very clear crocked Westcliff lineout but the try was given and converted.
Jamie Wooffitt was giving his usual solid performance and when Hook fed Kelly off the back of the scrum it was Wooffitt that showed the defender the outside and then cut back inside to leave the defence wrong footed. Zack Burdett and been so close with his first two attempts at the conversion his third was spot on.
With only 15 players Stanford battled hard but the fresh legs of Westcliff in the 2nd half had telling consequences and Westcliff ran in two unconverted tries in the 2nd half. The final score was a fair 17 all draw.
Stanford’s man of the man was given to Jake Tottman for his tireless tackling hard work and the break down and constant hard work.