Thursday, June 13, 2024

Rugby: Siren blown off course

Harwich and Dovercourt (12) Stanford Sirens (0)

ON the coastline the wind whipped across the pitch making any thought of flowing rugby a myth, which held both teams back a little but did not ruin the game as a whole. Stanford started strong with the scrums much improved from their last outing. Props Genevieve Beard and Laura Wade seemingly getting the upper hand.

However the wind held back fly half Sarah Bebbington ‘s kicks meaning the Sirens were camped in their own half for the first 20 minutes. Despite some dogged defensive work from Back row Georgina Kreysa, Danielle Harris and Amber Patience a cracking appeared out wide and the home team took the lead. After half time the Siren’s seemed more composed and kept possession better. Kate Mitchell at 9 fed her backs as best as she could against the gale and, along with the machine like captain Sophie Davies controlled the forwards. The pick and go option made hard yards down the pitch.

Locks Louise Grimwood and Heidi Rumble covered every grass blade along with Wade, Patience and Beard. Davies, as ever, caused alot of disruption at the lineout and breakdown. The back 3 of Lisa and Chloe Gounden and Megan Hasler were sharp when called upon to deal with the bobbling ball and solid I’m defence. However, the stand out tacklers of the game were the Red’s centre parntership of Stephanie McIntosh and Vicky Matthews who seemed to be tackling for fun. Earning them both players of the day alongside the Skipper Sophie Davies. Sadly Matthews hit one tackle so hard she had to have a short rest the opponents capitalised with a converted try. The game ended with Stanford up the more comfortable end of the pitch for and extensive period, but they just couldn’t finish despite Bebbington and Hasler both getting agonisingly close. A close game in


Thurrock u16s (15) – Stanford u16s (34)

Stanford win a thrilling local derby

It was Stanford who scored first after 5 minutes of play when Ben Kelly broke the Thurrock line and then showed his strength by shrugging off several Thurrock players to run in under the posts. Joe Duligall stepped up and added the extra points.

It wasn’t until after 20 minutes gone that Stanford off the back of a strong scrum managed to break the line with Zack Burdett cutting a great running line and then delaying his offload to the last minute for Duligall to run onto. Duligall still had several players to beat and his determination won the day as he battled his way over the Thurrock line.

Stanford started the 2nd half off strongly but Thurrock were still counter rucking much better and gaining turnover ball. One such turnover saw Thurrock try to break Stanford’s line but pushed the pass under pressure from Burdett. As the pass failed to make its target Burdett skilfully scoped the ball into his hands and sprinted three quarters of the pitch to touch down under the posts. Duligall made short work of the extra two points.

Both sides were competing hard and it was Thurrock who broke free next, they made hard yards, rucked then mauled up field. Good control of the ball from Thurrock gave them the reward of a well worked and deserved try.

From the restart a line out to Thurrock followed and more pressure was put on the defending line forcing Thurrock to carry over their own try line to touch down giving Stanford an attacking five meter scrum. Scrum won Harvey Cassidy picked up at the back and smashed his way over to score. Duligall again was accurate with the boot.

Moments later quick thinking from Matthew Hook saw that Thurrock hadn’t retreated the required distance and gained his side an extra ten meters. Duligall despite the strong wind made the penalty kick look effortless.

As the game restarted Stanford made short work of getting up to the Thurrock line, however Thurrock again turned defence into attack, Stanford were expecting a decision to go their way but it was Thurrock who didn’t wait and from behind their own line they shipped the ball wide and sprinted the full length of the pitch to score a well taken try.

It was Stanford’s turn again to score when a penalty awarded to Stanford just 5 meters out saw Marcus Edgeway step up and despite a good effort to keep him out Edgeway was not going to be stopped so close to the line and a fifth try for Stanford was scored.

The game had been played in great competitive spirit with both sides not giving up so when Thurrock broke free and sprinted past the stranded defence it looked like the home side would get another sprint finish try, but Jamie Wooffitt had other ideas and he dived to execute a wonderful tap tackle. Both sides piled into the ruck and Thurrock came up with the ball. It was now Stanford’s turn to defend the try line and as Thurrock kept knocking on the door they held firm and when Thurrock did cross the white wash Stanford had manged to get under the ball carry. Thurrock were pumped and from their scrum the number 8 picked up and showed his own strength to barge his way over on the final whistle of the game.

What a great game by two very competitive sides, they had entertained the crowd and the final score of 15 – 34 in favour of Stanford didn’t really tell the story of such an exciting game, well down to every player of both sides.


Maldon u14s (30)Â Stanford u14s (19)

Stanford faced a strong Maldon team from the top division in this friendly and also had to contend with a strong wind in the first half. Maldon used their large forwards well and waited for overlaps before moving the ball out wide where they had numbers. Maldon lost their quickest player after he injured himself whilst tackling with his shoulder, rather than using his arms. Stanford defended well throughout the half however Maldon scored 3 times to finish the half 15-0 up. Brandon Christmas was the pick of the Stanford players in the first half.

Stanford started the second half strongly with Maldon defending well. Maldon found another overlap opportunity to extend their lead to 20-0. Stanford were winning more ball in the loose and strong runs from Teddy Shaw, Derry Mager and Tom Oughton were starting to turn the tide.

Derry Mager found a small gap out wide and outstripped the defence and scored under the post with Connan Crowhurst adding the extra points. Maldon came back again and scored again out wide to push the lead out to 25-7. Teddy Shaw used his strength to break away and reach the corner. Derry Mager then once again found a gap and made his way to under the posts with Connan Crowhurst converting to bring the score to 25-19. Stanford then worked their way into the Maldon 22 with Tom Oughton making his way inside the 5 only to be met with some good tackling from Maldon and without the support Maldon recovered the ball to clear their lines. The final score from Maldon saw the inside centre pick a good angle of run to break between the Stanford backs to finish the game 30-19.

A great team effort from Stanford, with Kieran Edwards and FLT William Tackle-Tyrell performing well in defence.


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