CS Stags earn two bonus points despite missing key players, but Tom Hodgson makes a welcome return after a year out.
By ADRIAN HOUSTOUN
CS were missing virtually an entire front and back row, but got a massive reaction from the replacements and even managed to secure two bonus points, one for four tries and one for losing by less than 7 points. Their account for this 20018/2019 campaign now shows two narrow defeats, both incurred with many absent players, the latest of which was to a strong Sutton outfit that scored a half century of points last week, and was a creditable performance and augers well considering that some key players will soon be returning.
CS were grateful to local rival and good neighbour Rosslyn Park for hosting this London Premier league match on a Saturday evening whilst their Dukes Meadows home venue was unavailable due the record recent summer temperatures and the impact on the normally excellent playing surfaces.
CS started the stronger of the two teams and on 5 minutes following a penalty, scrum half Adam Nixon crossed the line from short range which full back James Houstoun converted. On 17 minutes CS had the opportunity to increase its lead but the penalty attempt narrowly missed, although a short while later Houstoun did convert a penalty. The penalty count was now building against CS. First Sutton converted one of the penalties followed by scoring a try 10-10. CS then had prop Craig Bellringer ex of Sutton sin binned. With four minutes until the break CS centre Ollie Fewtrell was on the end of a dangerous break to score CS’s second try 15-10 was the half time score. Early in the second half Sutton used two penalties to take play into the corner and duly drove over the line, followed by benefitting from a lucky bounce off the surface of the 4G pitch to again score which was converted 15-22. The Sutton pack were very powerful and on 65 minutes again drove over the CS line 15-29.
One player that CS had been wishing to reintroduce after a year out was fly half Tom Hodgson who started on the bench got his chance due to injuries. However first centre Ryan Martin scored before Tom Hodgson scored the bonus point try and he converted both. 29-34 was therefore the final score.
Next week CS are away to Tring.