Monday, October 3, 2022

Rugby: Stanford run through Runwell

THE early season visit to Runwell Wyverns was heavily imprinted on the Stanford forwards minds, as Wyverns had push them around the park so the Stanford pack were determined to turn the tables.

Stanford receiving the ball from the kick off set the ruck, Scrum half Dominic McDonald had quick mind of thinking and instead of putting the ball through the backs he darted blind and ran the pitch from Stanford 22 to Wyverns 22. Stanford had a strong attacking base and didn’t let it go to waste. Stanford moved the ball wide but Wyverns shut down the attack, but conceded a line out to Stanford. Danny Jackson raised high to give McDonald quick ball and again Stanford was on the attack. Wyverns scrambling in defence gave away a penalty and Calum Reid stepped up to open the scoring.

Wyverns were making it difficult for Stanford in the scrums with the heavier pack but nowhere near as dominant as their previous encounter. In attack every Stanford player was giving there all and they were pushing forward with every phase play. Again Wyverns were forced into errors and concede another penalty which Reid had no problem in converting.

From the Kick off Stanford drove forward but lost control of the ball and were then penalised by the ref. The Penalty clearance didn’t make touch and Jared Gounden performed a very skilfully juggling act to keep the ball in play and available for his team mates. The ball was moved quickly out to the wide where Liam Morley stretched the defence and touched down for his first try of the day. Reid was accurate again with the conversion.

Stanford was having the better of the half and it wasn’t long before they found themselves with an attacking scrum inside Wyverns half. Reece Anderson at eight was forced to pick up as the scrum started to swing round. Anderson’s strength made short work of the first to defenders and then off loaded to McDonald who stepped inside beat his man and off loaded the Reid. Reid’s quick pass continued the move and Gounden coming fast on his wing picked the perfect line and dived over the line to push Stanford further ahead.

Minutes before the end of the first half Wyverns found themselves in a kickable position in the Stanford half and were able to put points onto the score board. At half time Stanford lead 18 -3.

The second half started with Stanford surging forward and pinning Wyverns back in the own half. Wyverns were defending well and managing to keep Stanford at bay. However the relentless attack soon paid dividends when a strong forwards play was rounded off by Sonny Smith breaking free and at the last moment popping to Sam Herbert to cross the line for Stanford’s 3rd try.

Wyverns were making the game tough for Stanford at every break down with good defence. With attacking space tight Reid saw the opportunity to have a go for a drop goal just inside the Wyverns half. The ball sailed high through the air and straight between the uprights.

The game was an intense hard battle which both sides working hard. The penalty count on both sides was racking up but it was Stanford who gained the better positioning and Reid didn’t miss with his boot.

As the game was drawing to a close Stanford were pushing hard to add extra points to their score. With 15 minutes to go Morley went on the rampage bursting through attempted tackles and just as it looked like he was about to be stopped he spun out of the tackle and crossed the Wyverns line bring his points total for the season to 100.

Stanford closed the game out keeping their visitors to just the 3 points in the first half but put 31 points of their own on the score board, a good win but a tough competitive game. Stanford’s man of the match was awarded to Jared Gounden, thoroughly deserved for his all-round rugby.


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