Saturday, April 13, 2024

Rugby: Stanford gain respect in defeat

Bancroft 1st XV (32) – Stanford 1st XV (12)

STANFORD started off strongly by regaining their kick off and took the game into the Bancroft half. Good defence kept Stanford back but they kept ploughing forward. After an exciting opening 6 minutes Stanford whipped the ball fast through the backs and Alistair McDonald put winger Nick Sharp into space. Sharp still had half the pitch to run and his pace was telling as he skirted around the Bancroft defence to opening the scoring.

Bancroft seemed to be rocked by their visitors score and the tempo of the game went up a notch. The killer blow for Stanford was Bancroft’s excellent rolling mauls. Time and again Bancroft deployed this attacking move and the weight and power of their pack left Stanford running backwards. Using the rolling maul got Bancroft into position three times to score with one conversion before half time. Despite a lead of 17 – 5 at half time Bancroft had not had it all their own way and Stanford knew if they could contain the opposition forwards they definitely had enough speed in the backs and fire power in the forwards to compete.

The start of the 2nd half mirrored the first with Stanford scored on 6 minutes. Early pressure saw Stanford awarded a free kick which Dominic McDonald used quickly. Calum Reid took the pass on and drawing two players popped the ball up to a charging Liam Morley. Morley got within 5 metres of the try line then passed to Ryan Edgeway who managed to ground the ball despite the efforts of the Bancroft defence. Reid made short work of the conversion.

For the next 20 minutes the game flowed one way then the next with both sides coming close to scoring and Bancroft actually knocking on in an attempt to ground. It was the Bancroft rolling maul that was the undoing of the Stanford again when Bancroft gained the ground they needed to release their backs for their fourth try of the game.

Bancroft’s 5th and final try of the game came several minutes after what was thought to have been full time and could possibly have been adjudged as a double movement but when they are given they all count and that’s just the way it goes. At the final whistle Bancroft were extremely complementary about their visitors commitment and game play, both teams had battled in a strong contest but Bancroft ran out deserved winners at 32 -12.

Stanford Ladies (10) – Medway Ladies (29)

Sirens faced top of the table Medway this week and despite playing well, ended the game with a 29-10 loss. Medway scored with their first attack of the game and soon doubled the score. The forwards managed to gain some territory and a few phases lead to the ball going through the back’s hands. Vicky Matthews found half a gap to burst through to set up Chloe Gounden in the corner. Medway finished the half with two more tries. Just after half time Sarah Bebbington broke through a cluttered field to sprint 80 yards and score. Medway had the final say with one more try. Forward of the match was Heidi Rumble. Back of the match was Gemma Smith. Special mention to Bethany Seaman for her first game and being the first ever Sirenette to graduate into the Sirens.

Stanford u16s (15) – Basildon u16s (33)

Stanford miss out on thrilling local derby

An extremely strong start by Stanford is quite uncharacteristic by after 2 minutes of play Stanford found themselves jogging away from the Basildon try line. A good kick and chase to start the game gave Stanford the platform to go forward. Matthew Hook used his backs and forwards to gain extra ground and even went for the line himself. Several more attempts followed to ground the ball but the Basildon defence held firm but one too many hits gave Harvey Cassidy the space to get over the white wash and open the scoring. Joseph Duligall decided to use the cross bar to add a little extra drama to the opening few minutes and the extra two points.

Basildon are a big side with strong fast runners and they used that to their advantage twice in the first half to score well worked tries. If it wasn’t for Zack Burdett Stanford could easily have been looking at a bigger half time points difference to chase and not just 7. Half time score 7 -14 in favour of Basildon.

The second half started well again for Stanford. Ben Kelly at fly half had been varying play to great affect and as he switched sides to attack the blind Stanford were awarded a penalty after 4 minutes that Duligall slotted with easy.

Basildon are not a team to sit back and defend against and as they pressured the Stanford defence even Ross Gale and Jamie Wooffitt’s constant tackling couldn’t keep the visitors out as they extended their lead.

Stanford were next to score in this battle of wills and it was again Kelly who used the back line to put Rhys Dell in who caught the ball then twisted, turned and with great strength drove over the Basildon line.

Basildon was to score two more times before the final whistle went one from a lucky interception and another from a well worked try. A great game of rugby by two very competitive sides, both teams rightly deserved praise for putting on an excellent show of rugby and no complaints could or should be heard. Basildon took a good win 15 – 33.

May & Baker u14s (56) Stanford u14s (24)

The opening 10 minutes of play saw both teams compete for the ball in the centre of a wet pitch with each team overturning ball. May & Baker had a number of athletic players and within a 5 minute spell had scored 4 tries using their pace to provide kicks under the post to take the score out to 28-0. Stanford were too narrow in defence and May & Baker kept moving the ball out and utilised the open spaces with their fast runners to extend the score to 35-0. Stanford at last started to gain some control of the ball with Teddy Shaw forcing his way over the line out wide. May & Baker again used their pace to add a further two converted tries to finish the first half 49-5 in front.

To Stanford’s credit they organised themselves better defensively in the second half and utilised the ball with a combination of aggression and team work to place May & Baker under more pressure Teddy Shaw scored a further two tries with Connan Crowhurst converting them to bring the score back to 49-19. May & Baker again forced their way over. However Stanford scored the last try of the game as Finlay Maher picked up the ball from the back of the scrum and shook off the flanker before forcing himself over the line with two defenders in tow.

Mason Whitfield and Rhys Gounden made a couple of good runs and Flt William Cors-

Tyrell has them singing on the touchline with a number of good tackles.

Brandon Christmas gave a captains performance covering more ground than anyone in defence and attack.

Against a team who have scored over 60 a number of occasions this season Stanford responded well and scored four tries of their own and they should all be proud of themselves especially with the 2nd half performance.


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