Burton 22 (10) Stafford 29 (17)
Tries: Josh Hart 2, James North, Matt Evans
Con: Oliver Corbett
The half term holidays took its toll on both squads for this encounter, with Burton only able to field 15 with no replacements available.
Burton were quick off the blocks as they put pressure on Stafford in the early stages of the game. A ruck on the half way was strongly contested by both flankers James North and Calum Launchbury, Oliver Corbett picked up and a quick pass to Connor Wood who broke through the Stafford line and set up Josh Hart to finish in style. This score seemed to rejuvenate Stafford who then put pressure on the Burton defence. The strong Stafford scrum started to dominate and eventually the pressure paid in the form of three successive tries without reply. However, a loose ball picked up following good work from Charlie Newcombe and Jack Wardle allowed Josh Hart to score a great try with a fantastic run from deep inside the Burton half. The score at half time 10-17.
Burton were down to 14 players for the second half, however, Burton responded positively and started the second half with surging maul down the field. Pressure and support from Tommy Collingwood and Josh Wright , helped James North to score under the posts and level the score. Once more Stafford revitalised and responded with two tries of their own, mainly thanks to the pressure on the Burton scrum and a well executed penalty close to the Burton line. Burton once more gave themselves an opportunity to get a result from the game as matt Evans scored, thanks to a positive run from Connor Wood, support from Joel Dolman and a passing move involving Cameron Scobie, and Ed Baxter. Burton pressed Stafford but unfortunately time was not on their side. The whistle blew and Burton lost a close match against strong opposition 22-27.
A good game of rugby between two holiday deleted squads. A reminder to all that squads and strength of replacements are critical to long term success.