One step away from history
Stafford had talked a good game all week but failed to deliver on the pitch
Talk is cheap as were some of the actions of Stoke's opposition with constant offsides, a series of late hits and brawling tactics, but it failed to stop a superior Stoke side from recording yet another bonus point win with a dominant and stubborn performance.
Stafford wanted to try and bully Stoke but failed miserably.
It was a much changed Stoke side that took to the pitch in typical April conditions but the format was the same as it has been all season. Forwards winning the ball and the backs scoring lots of points.
Chris Rowley opened the scoring early on with a good run and stretch over the line to ground the ball and Simon Price added another with a lovely jinking run. Stoke had another two great chances to score with Glen Joss running an excellent line to beat the Stafford defence but he just got caught before the line and Steve Talbot knocked on when put through.
Stafford had no answer and never looked likely of crossing the Stoke line and when they did get close strong defence kept them out.
Further tries from Russ Birkett, Rob Spruce and two further scores did not flatter the league champions.
The match only had one side who tried to play rugby and the difference in ambition between the two sides was typified near the end of the match. Stoke had a scrum on their own 5m line and they decided to run the ball. After a great break by Captain Chris Rowley, lovely Stoke hands and support play saw them travel the length of the pitch to score in the left hand corner. An excellent team try which underlined the style in which has seen Stoke sweep all before them this season.
All that stands between Stoke and an unbeaten season is next Saturday's re-arranged away trip at Aston Old Edwardians. History awaits you boys!
Full match report to follow.