Friday, December 8, 2023

Rugby: Stanford Sirens make a noise on the coast

Stanford 1st XV (10) – Maldon 1st XV (29)

WHEN these two sides met last year in a friendly Maldon showed Stanford what they could expect to come up against in the Essex 1 league. Last year Stanford started slowly but this time the Red men looked up to the challenge. The scrum was a concern of Stanford’s as they were missing some regular players but the reshuffle didn’t appear to have affected the home side to much in the early exchanges.

It was Maldon who struck first with a clever inside ball which broke the defensive line of Stanford and a quick run in under the posts. With the conversion easily made Stanford jogged back to the centre spot ready to take the game to Maldon. It was Stanford who scored next with a very good penalty kick from Calum Reid, game on.

Maldon were using the inside pass to great effect and it was causing Stanford a lot of problems. Maldon’s 2nd try however came wider out after 16 minutes of play and the conversion was missed. Stanford had to make a quick bloody bin change with Dan May coming off to sort out a bloody mouth and Nick Sharp coming on to take an unfamiliar Flankers role whilst Reece Anderson stepped in at prop.

Stanford from the restart put a lot of pressure on the Maldon defence and was awarded another penalty. This time Reid was only marginally wide but a good effort none the less and it proved that Stanford could compete against their visitors. The scrums were going Maldon’s way but Troy Elkes at 8 was somehow managing to pick up the ball whilst going back at a rate of knots.

Stanford were next to score with an excellent kick from Reid and a strong chase by centre pairing Kye Holloway and Jordan Edwards putting the Maldon Full back under all kinds of pressure. With the ball won Dominic McDonald wrong footed the covering Maldon defence and hand off as he sprinted over the try line. Reid had no problem adding the extra two points.

Blood bin substitution reversed Stanford where playing some very good rugby and the game was edging back and forth. As the end of the first half was fast approaching Dan May went down this time with a very badly twisted ankle and Stanford had to make a permanent change in the front row with Anderson stepping in again and Ross Noakes taking over at Flanker.

Stanford suffered another blow bang on the half time whistle when Maldon having been awarded a penalty went for the line out and cleverly sent the Stanford defence one way whilst running in a try on the blind side of play. Half time 10 -19 to Maldon.

The 2nd half started well for Stanford with some very good phases of play but they just couldn’t break the Maldon defence. Stanford’s 2nd half woes then started to kick in. Troy Elkes came off for running repairs with Sharp once again taking to the field. Reid was then penalised for hands in the ruck and Stanford were reduced to 14 men. Maldon capitalised on Stanford’s numbers and ran in their fourth try of the day. Elkes restored to the pitch and Stanford back to full strength the home side’s discipline at the break down started to tell and Maldon took hold of the game keeping Stanford pinned in their own half. With time ticking down Kyle Munro took over wing duties from Jared Gounden and Ross Noakes came off with an elbow injury.

It was Maldon that had the last say as they ran in their 5th and final try with only minutes to spare. The Stanford side were quite rightly disappointed with their 2nd half performance but the positives were also evident so a lot can be taken from the game.


Lowestoft & Yarmouth Ladies (0) – Stanford Sirens (44)

Sirens travelled over a hundred miles with a strong squad of 17. Fly half Sarah Beddington opened the scoring with 2 tries and converted both. Beddington then set up Chloe Gounden on the wing after, Prop Laura Wade took a crash ball from a penalty to score a well-deserved try. Before half time both centres Steph McIntosh and Vicky Matthews had also opened their scoring accounts.

After half time fullback Danielle Harries finished off some slick hands to touch down and Beddington completed her hat trick after some solid phase play from the forwards.

Forward of the match for Stanford was Alayna Bagshaw and back of the match was Kate Mitchell.


Stanford U14s (32) Chingford u14s (5)

Chingford were only able to field 12 players Stanford had 17 available so Krisham Dadlani and Mason Whitfield kindly played for Chingford in the first half.

The early 10 minutes or so were tight with Stanford’s forwards rucking and mauling well to make good ground. Chingford had some good strong runners. The centre pairing of Brandon Christmas and Teddy Shaw tackled whenever Chingford threatened to break into open space.

After some good work from the forwards, lock Harry Green took the ball at pace from 5 yards out to open the score. Connan Crowhurst converted from under the posts.

Connan Crowhurst made a blistering run out wide to run past the defence then for some strange reason decided to spike the ball into the ground. Two hands young Connan, please.

Brandon Christmas and Teddy Shaw were causing as much damage in attack as defence making good ground throughout the game. Teddy’s strong running saw him score 4 tries all out wide.

Charlie Arnold started the second half for his first game in Stanford colours and scored picking the ball up from the back of the scrum and powering his way over.

The final score of the day belonged to Chingford who deserved it for their continued fight and spirit throughout the game. A good arching run into the corner from quick ball as the fly-half made space for himself.

A big thank you to Krisham Dadlani who played the whole game for Chingford and for Mason Whitfield, Kieran Edwards and FLT William Tyrell-Hawkes who all played a half for Chingford.


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