CS Stags start New Year with impressive bonus point victory over high flying Tring who finish with 14 men
by ADRIAN HOUSTOUN
This was the first match of the New Year and for CS Stags it was also the first of four consecutive home fixtures: a payoff for starting the season with six consecutive away fixtures due in-part to pitches suffering from the hot pre-season climate.
The first half was fairly even with the interval score 19-12. CS had shown that they had done their homework identifying that the visitors play flat and wide giving CS the opportunity to attack through the middle which they did effectively and successfully all afternoon. Trailing 0 – 5 CS’s first score was from winger Conrad Burne, followed by back row Robbie Boswell who was always in close support of his attackers, and finally in the first half, fly half Tom Hodgson sliced straight through the centre defence to score by the posts and he also converted his own try.
The start of the second half was crucial, the first twelve minutes of which saw two scores by centre Ryan Martin, which was followed by tactical a change, the replacement full back thereby playing for the first time for five matches due to a hamstring injury. He endeared himself to the coaches by immediately starting a move which resulted in his scoring CS’s sixth try 34 – 12. Props James Buncle and Nick Lovell had both been enjoying good afternoons and jointly created a sound platform for the other forwards to exploit. Now it was hooker Josh Forrester’s turn to shine and with good support play he received the ball and passed it to Will Scott who scored, although whilst making the try Josh Forrester was punched by a Tring lock who received a red card 39 – 19. With the clock winding down wing Zach Stamp made a successful interception and spirited alone the length of the pitch to score under the posts 46 – 19. CS therefore took the maximum 5 points and enhanced their league position.
Next week CS are home to Bedford who have just hosted top of the table Wimbledon and came so close to beating them with the score 20 – 22.