Thursday, June 13, 2024

Rugby: Plenty of positives from Stanfords weekend

Millwall 1st XV (30) – Stanford 1st XV (8)

Positive attitudes were in abundant as Stanford 1st XV took the field for their very first league game in the Essex 1st division and after just 2 minutes they were awarded a penalty coming from pressure after the kick off. Calum Reid had no trouble in slotting the opening points for Stanford.

Millwall were the next to score when they broke through some weak tackling and ran in under the posts.

For the next 15 minutes the game was very competitive with Stanford strong in the scrums and line outs, defence was solid and the attacking lines gave Millwall trouble.

The only down side was the increasing penalty count which took its toll with 27 minutes gone when Alistair Macdonald was pulled up for a high tackle and was shown a yellow card. Millwall took the penalty and opened the score to a 10 points difference 13 – 3. Now down to 14 men Stanford showed the kind of passion and team work that has been building over preseason, no matter what Millwall threw at Stanford they couldn’t capitalise on the extra man.

The 2nd half continued as the 1st had finished with Stanford attacking and defending well. Stanford was making some basic mistakes that were letting them down at the final stage but they were battling well. Stanford’s hard work was rewarded when full back Alistair Macdonald finished off a fantastic move as Stanford executed a training ground line out move with Sonny Smith running strong and hard towards the Millwall line, bringing the score within 5 points.

Two penalties awarded to Millwall gave them the chance to extend the points difference.

Stanford was still making ventures into Millwall’s half but just couldn’t finish off the good work. With 12 minutes to go Stanford conceded two fast tries which were converted. Millwall whilst deserving the win, it could be said that the final score of 30 -8 didn’t reflect the competitive game between the two sides and Stanford can be pleased with their first step up into Essex 1.

Man of the match was an extremely hard choice but Troy Elkes was awarded it based on his tackling, support play and just never giving up.


Stanford Sirens (44) – Leighton Buzzard ladies (22)

After such a physical game last week, the Stanford Sirens had to mix around some player’s positions. But the ever resilient Stanford Ladies somehow dug deep and pulled off a convincing win.

They opened the scoring near enough straight from the kick off, the forwards recycling their own kick off and Chloe Gounden finishing off some slick hands. Leighton Buzzard hit back with aplomb and scored two quick tries, making the most of the wide pitch.

It was Gounden to answer once more though as Debbie Walshe, playing fly half, looped around Heidi Rumble then shipped it to Gounden who was at full tilt and unstoppable.

Leighton kicked deep and attacked hard through their centres, somehow the Red Girls kept them at bay. Vicki Matthews was once more out to impress and had already smashed her opposite number twice when she decided to target the number eight she came out second best, hitting her head awkwardly and having to leave the field. Rachel Crowhurst re-joined the Sirens to solidify an ever improving back line.

Once again though the visitors found some joy down the tram line to take the lead 17-10.
The forwards pressed on from the kick off, Laura "JCB" Wade committing half the pack with a succession of drives. The pressure soon peaked and Genevieve Beard caught her opposite scrum half off guard, plucked the ball from her arm and had enough in the tank to score under the posts.

Only losing by two points at half time Stanford knew it was their game to win or lose. Sophie Davies single handily stole at least a dozen rucks, much to the opposition’s annoyance. Flanker-come-centre Amber Patience was first to capitalise on one such quick turn over, finding half a gap to bundle through, then having the gas to storm under the posts. Walshe also scored a similar try moments later to start the foundations of a healthy points cushion. 27-17

Leighton did however manage one break away try and it looked like the home side were tiring but they found a second wind to fuel their passion for the win. Wingers Lisa Gounden and Crowhurst kept the visitors busy down the flanks, Davies and Wade made it hard work for them in the tight areas. Natalie Ward eventually went over for a thoroughly deserved try after a sublime lineout move and numerous pick and goes.

Newby Georgina Kreysa had the last word…last two words with a brace of ‘half pitch run’ tries to seal the game. Forward of the match was Laura Wade Back of the Match Genevieve Beard


Stanford u10/11s (65) – Harlow u10/11s (15)

A glorious sunny day and some great rugby played by some of the younger members of Stanford RFC. With four brand new players taking the field for the very first time, the Stanford team were outstanding. Amelia Avery was awarded player of the week for her controlled play and teamwork.

Stanford u12s (15) – Harlow u12s (10)

A superb game of rugby played by Stanford RFC against a very physical opposition. Stanford Stood firm and worked the ball well between forwards and back. Stanford’s try scorers were Charlie Baker (2) and Jerome Sagomba (1).

Rochford u14s (7) – Stanford u14s (5)

Stanford came extremely close to winning this cup tie. Stanford had two try’s disallowed but despite feeling hard done by the Stanford players are a gutsy team and never gave up until the very end. Stanford’s try scorer was Teddy Shaw.


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