Ath 29 - 5 Stamford !!!!
A win at last !
Well thanks to Alan Lee, we managed to turn up to this game with 16 players. In the changing room before hand we decided on positions. We had a proper, first choice front 5 in Kyle, Akers, Big Matt, Dan and Adder. Nate, usually lock or 6, stepped up to play 8, and Joe & I moved from the back line into 7 & 6 respectively. James moved from the wing to 9, and Sam and Weg were join by Callum 13. JP & Paul W made up the back three with Stevie G.
The front five performed superbly throughout the game. Our scrums were always solid, and often had the opposition pack going back at a rate of knots. Even when we lost a few against the head on the put in, the front five as often as not then just pushed Stamford off the ball. It was an impressive display, well done lads. In the lineout Joe went up against the opposition ball and caused them all sorts of bother stealing at least 50% (at a guess) and maybe more. Our own line was secure pretty much the entire game. In the loose Joe was fantastic. He threw himself on every loose ball, despite the pitch being like a concrete car park, and tackled well. The backs combined well for the most part. Occasionally things got a bit congested, and I’d guess that was just a little bit of unfamiliarity, and understandable exuberance.
I would guess we went about 20-25 minutes with no score and the game fairly finely balanced, until we finally broke the dead lock with Sam James running in a well worked try. We scored another when James had nailed their 8 off the back of a scrum, and from there Nate swiped the ball. As he went into contact our blindside flanker took the ball whilst we were still going forward, and popped in to Kyle, who fed Sam. Sam ran right up to the opposition line and drew two players to pop to Weg who took another two over with him. A great team try.
I’m afraid I can’t remember who scored the other try in the first half, so can someone else fill that bit in? Thanks
Second half continued the same as the first with us dominating the set pieces. Stamford then dealt themselves a big blow when their No.7 decided to viciously stamp on JP. That saw his came cut short. Kyle had taken exception to it, despite Weg’s best efforts to stop him, and had a short break himself but just for 10.
In the meantime, the game continued in a similar vein to the first half, with Callum making several great breaks, and Paul Warman, Weg, & Sam linking well to create some great breaks both sides of the break. In the second half Big Matt found his mo-jo and went on one bulloching run which saw him knock over no less than SIX opposition players, one player flying back literally 4-5 yards before he hit the deck. I think many of us thought he might go all the way, but it was not to be. Great to see him back to the form he showed at the end of last season. The first of our two tries came from good work by the whole team getting us up the pitch, and then James duck, diving, bobbing, and weaving his way to the line. Straight from the ensuing kick off our aged flanker caught the ball and ran it back feeding to Weg on halfway who took 3-4 strides before putting a great inside pop to Callum who ran the remainder of the pitch to score.
We should have scored 2 or 3 more but poor handling denied us, but fair play to Stamford. Despite the enevitablitity of the result they opted for a tap penalty in the last minute and after 2 phases went over in the far corner. The conversion attempt went wide, and the game was done.
We did the decent thing with the Stamford player who had seen red, and saved them having one less available player for their last two games, and the ref having to do a whole load of paperwork, so the game ended well enough for all concerned.
Well played to everyone who played. Everyone put in 100%, the front five were awesome, and Joe really performed well at 7. Well played to Callum, and let’s hope we see plenty more of him in the future !!
Final score 29-5