Thursday, June 13, 2024

Rugby: Stanford marooned by Canvey

Stanford 1st XV (16) – Canvey Island 1st XV (18)

STANFORD were first to score after a strong rolling was awarded with a penalty against Canvey. Stanford chose to kick to touch and although they didn’t win their line-out Canvey knocked on trying to clear their lines. Stanford were only metres from the try line and off the back of the scrum they powered on for two phases after which scrum half Dominic McDonald dived low under the defence and touched down.

Both sides were giving away penalties but Canvey fouled within range of Calum Reid’s boot and he made them pay. Despite being behind Canvey was making the most of Stanford’s ill-discipline and at every awarded penalty they took a quick tap penalty putting Stanford on the back foot. Canvey’s fast reactions and Stanford’s slow back tracking allowed Canvey to get around the side of the home sides defence and Canvey pulled back a try. At this time Sonny Smith was forced from the field when he went over on his knee. A quick reshuffle brought Ross Noakes on and replacement front Row Jack Enever stepping up to the front line from 2nd row.

As Stanford tried to apply pressure Gareth Anstee was to have been judged to deliberately knock on and was given 10 minutes off the pitch. With the front of the pack having already been reshuffled due to injury and now a yellow the scrums had to go uncontested for 10 minutes. Despite the extra man Canvey couldn’t make it count and when Anstee returned to the pitch the score hadn’t changed.

Just before half time Canvey again used their tactic of quick penalties to their advantage and crossed the line to lead the game 10 -8 at half time.

Immediately after the restart Reid had the opportunity to put Stanford back in the lead and he didn’t disappoint as he kicked another penalty. The Penalty count started to mount again but Canvey when given a chance at the posts and couldn’t make it count. A massive blow to Stanford soon in the half saw Reid coming off but with Nick Sharp on the side line Stanford quickly rejigged their back line. The penalties kept coming and Ricky Percival was adjudged to have come in at the side of a ruck and was given 10 minutes out. This time Canvey used the extra man advantage and crossed the line for a third try.

Restored to 15 men Stanford was defending well and with nowhere to go Canvey took a lucky punt at a drop goal which sailed over. Canvey were being made to defend well and as their penalty count racked up they were shown a yellow card. From the penalty Stanford pushed the ball through the hands and winger Kyle Munro with still metres to go hit up and through the defence to add a try to Stanford’s score bringing them back within two points.

The last few minutes were a tense affair with neither side being able to finish off moves and the final score had Canvey taking the win with just two clear points.

Stanford awarded flanker Ricky Percival and number 8 Chris Smith joint men of the match.

Stanford u16s (32) – Westcliff u16s (29)

Westcliff came out of the blocks all firing and the speed of their left wing would have had Usain Bolt nodding his head in appreciation, Stanford didn’t make their first up tackles and paid the price not once but twice within 5 minutes but only one of the tries was converted.

The set piece was where Stanford had the initial edge and Jack Knight was flying high in the air at the line outs winning Stanford and Westcliff ball. With Stanford on the front foot the ball was push out to Jamie Wooffitt who used his pace and strength to cross the Westcliff line. Joe Duligall stepped up and added the extra points.

Minutes later Duligall was again lining up the ball at the sticks and slotted it perfectly down the middle. The game was being played at a frantic pace and Westcliff in the open play were using their big power runners to great effect and then switching out to their fast wingers. This formula paid off for Westcliff again before the break along with a piece of great reaction play when Stanford forced a pass that wasn’t on. Westcliff was flying and very pumped up but Stanford were sticking to their guns and just on half time Rhys Dell crossed the line for Stanford after his quick feet ending a very good backs move.

At half time Westcliff lead their hosts 22 – 15 and Stanford were dealt a blow when Joe Duligall was unable to continue. Coming on for Joe for his Stanford league debut was Kamren Boyles.

Stanford’s forwards assisted by the backs executed a 20 metre rolling maul that Westcliff just couldn’t stop, as they crossed the line Harvey Cassidy was the player in charge of the ball at the time and he just fell down over the line. Truly a great team effort.

Stanford was bossing the play and a clever low kick through with Dell chasing hard made Westcliff knock on. Awarded a scrum just 5 metres out Jack Pidgeon at 8 picked up and hit forward. The forwards rallied round and as the ball was lifted clear Cassidy was driven over the line by Sean Loughran again another well worked team try. Zack Burdett had taken over the kicking duties and added the extra points.

Ben Kelly was marshalling his backs in the second half and saw that there was space behind the defensive line. As he kicked through Kamren Boyles sprinted onto the ball. Boyles handed off one tackle manged to step through the next two and as he was being slowed down he just had enough strength and length to touch the ball down for his first try.

Stanford brought on fresh legs in the shape of Jack Rhodes for his debut at flank and he got straight into the thick of it. As the time ticked away Stanford was leading by 10 points but that was not enough as Westcliff rallied for a last big push. Again using a quick penalty to great effect Westcliff crossed the line with just one minute of play, with the addition of the conversion they trailed by just three points.

The last minute was nail biting with Westcliff giving 100% and Stanford having to match them in defence. Time just ran out on Westcliff and as Stanford forced them to knock on the whistle sounded for what had been the most exciting exhibition of rugby and both sets of players could hold their heads high after such a fantastic game.

Stanford awarded Forward of the match to Jack Knight and back of the match Zack Burdett.

Braintree u14s (33) – Stanford u14s (10)

The Stanford team started slowly against a much bigger Braintree team. Braintree scored two quick tries to lead 14-0 within the first 10 minutes. Stanford started to adjust holding their own in the scrum and with Teddy Shaw and Brandon Christmas making a couple of good runs. For the most part Stanford were having to defend. Kieran Edwards made a number of good tackles as the half progressed. Derry Mager first and last run was a strong run down the wing only to end in injury after been accidently stood on.

Some good phased attacking play led to Teddy Shaw breaking his way through 2 or 3 tackles to make the corner. Braintree scored again before halftime using the strength and speed of their pack.

Stanford were particularly slow at the breakdown leading to Braintree turn overs which made the second half a defensive struggle for them. Teddy Shaw anticipated a pass from the fly-half intercepting and raced the length of the field for his second and Stanford’s final score of the day.


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