Stags went into half time on Saturday at Oundle 25-13 down after a converted Nick Valance try and two penalties from Tad Chapman, but having been battered in the scrum due to the unavailability of the two normal starting props. However, the start of the second half brought three quick tries for Stags from Charlie Saunders, Barnie West and Nick Vallance again, all converted, giving Stags a 25-34 lead and a try bonus point. Despite some valiant defending, the deficiency against a big Oundle pack could never be made up, and one push over try and a penalty try for a similar situation, meant that Oundle limped home 37-34 winners. Tad Chapman was just wide on two occasions with late long range penalties, and draw wouldn’t have been an unfair result in most people’s eyes, with Stags believing that they could snatch the win.
The scrum was the only area where the home team got the better of Stags, and this was probably the best Stags performance of the year, resulting in two welcome league points. Huge plaudits must go to Russ Polson and Kris Jones who propped on Saturday, despite their normal positions being Hooker and No 8 repectively, as well as hooker Luca Prioetti, who spent an afternoon going backwards in the scrum, but were always on the front foot in defence and in the loose - proper Stagsmen.
Stags can hopefully get a recognised front row together to face a formidable Paviors side on Saturday at the Racecourse, 3pm kick off, and all support is welcome.
Updated 11:34 - 10 Apr 2018 by Sid Millar