Stanford 37 v 10 Kings Cross Steelers
Stanford RFC 1st XV are confirmed league Champions and promoted in the Essex 1.
Stanford RFC started this game six points ahead of their opposition in second place Kings Cross Steelers and guaranteed promotion into the Essex 1 League. Stanford’s victory over their rivals gave them promotion as Champions.
A massive effort by players and coaches over the last few years has led to an almost unstoppable team in the league this year with only one lose on the road and a 100% home record.
Stanford started the scoring off just after seven minutes when from a quick penalty Greg Rumble muscled his way over the try line. Eight minutes later Calum Reid stroked the perfect penalty kick through the uprights to extend the lead eight points to nil.
Reid has been on form this season commanding his back line and when he crossed the line for Stanford second try it was a well-deserved score, one that Reid had made from quick thinking and strong running. Stanford was controlling the game well and they looked dangerous with ball in hand.
The warm weather was taking its toll on the forwards as they did battle but Stanford were just edging contest. From a good powerful charge provided by the backs scrum half Dominic McDonald released Reid who in turn combined with his back line to execute a text book training ground move putting winger Nick Sharp in for a try. However whether through excitement or thinking he was playing American Football Sharp ran behind the posts and slam dunked the ball down to the dismay of the crowd and players.
Steelers were constantly testing Stanford and making them defend hard. The running rugby from both sides was great to watch and as the Steelers number eight broke the defensive line it took an excellent tackle by full back Ricky Damm to bring the big man down. Although that wasn’t the end of the move as a Steelers player came flying up in support to continue the run. With a head start and running towards the corner Liam Morley had a lot of work to in order to stop a certain try, but that is what he did with an outstanding tackle.
It wasn’t long before Stanford was crossing the Steelers line for a 3rd time when Jared Gounden coming on at pace cut the perfect line, his speed and strength helped him shrug off tackles and carried him over the line to bring the half with Stanford leading 18 -0.
Despite Sharp’s moment of madness in the first half he had been playing a very good game and when he crossed the line after just 8 minutes of the 2nd half it was a well-deserved effort and at the time was to be his last part in the game as he gave way for Adam Gander. The conversion was added by Reid. Just before the restart Dan May stepped aside to allow fellow front rower Aaron Kempster into the game.
Kings Cross Steelers are not a team to be taken lightly and they were determined to battle back at Stanford and they soon had their first points on the board when they wrong footed the Stanford defence and battled their way over the try line. This stirred Stanford into action and immediately from the restart they had pushed Steelers back towards their try line. McDonald who up till now hadn’t stopped all game saw his opportunity when he fainted one way the gap opened up for him and he dropped over the line.
Morley had been making the Steelers defence work extremely hard and it was only a matter of time before his side step and spin trade mark run saw him out whit the defence and he ran in behind the posts. Reid had no trouble adding the extra.
Steelers hadn’t given up and were still fighting hard so when they crossed the line for their 2nd try of the game no one could have objected. Despite the final score line the game had been a real entertaining game with Stanford taking the win 37 -10.