Cannock meets Leicester Forest in Staffs vs East mids cup clash
Cannock 29-28 Leicester Forest
The word of the day was Forest were travelling to Cannock to impose the “tougher brand of rugby” played in the east midlands and Cannock were keen to introduce them to their own distinctive style.
Staffs RFU sent a strong contingent to observe the outcome and the changing room was buzzing with an air of confidence and enthusiasm.
Josh carried the heavy load of skipper for the day stepping up from vice due to skipper Ley on annual welsh holiday and not available, calming words from the young skipper echoed head coach Pows advice of punish them up front and give solid set piece then let the backs work their magic.
From the kick off Forest came out strong with repeat crashing lines which eventually resulted in them getting a penalty for not rolling away
Forest followed up with more of the same and following a couple of sloppy tackles their 6 broke the line and scored just shy of being caught by Baugh.
Cannock appeared a little shell shocked and failed to respond to the onslaught , after a basic down the line hands drill forest dotted down in the corner again.
An unpleasant arrogance seemed to come across forest with jeers to Cannock players that this was a walk over and they appeared to believe that this was their day for a cricket score.
Josh led from the front to respond to this and after a penalty was awarded to Cannock he went for a quick tap and go to crash over, conversion slotted by Pedley (nudge eel)
Forest appeared lost following this and the Cannock men had their heads up , the second rows of the returning Sonny ,breaking bodies and Tank running his infamous dummy lines freed up the back rows , Baugh Freeman and Frost (honourably bypassing national welsh holiday in favour of his club and later to become man of the match ) forced pressure forward resulting in another Cannock penalty for forest not releasing
Nugde eel again pedley slots
The first half confidence continued for Cannock and solid lines from Reeth the monster centre and baker and debut coming in from the wings led to 2 further penalties , the skipper called to level the score but it appeared Pedley had left his kicking boots down the hill in the first half.
Solid set piece at the scrums and secure long lineout, Jtb firing them in and Gunter and Lathe hoisting them up led to clean ball for the backs and some slick play leading to Jordan cutting through the
middle and dancing in a great score , he proceeded to borrow eels kicking boot from the last and conversion was missed
Forest ran back hard again but could not break the middle of the park and had decided that they no longer wanted to scrumage against Cannock’s front line with Richards dropping in to replace scott (i was playing excellent but want a little sit down )lathe .
The ball shipped wide and Edwards attempted to intercept but knocked on , showing his guilt instantly he found out that honesty is not always the best policy and took a yellow and a trip to the bin.
Cannock refused to give in with a man down and the introduction of the other half of the Stanacrays, Returning Brad hunted forest men down like a kid who had eaten all the skittles and Frosts presence everywhere on the pitch (did i mention not on welsh national holiday) led to a fantastic break down half the pitch feeding the young class Connor (his dad wishes he was that quick ) Gladstone who scored in the corner. Back down the bottom of the pitch pedley found his kicking boots again and slotted the conversion.
Following the restart Gladstone apparently asked the ref 1 to many times what time it was and took a trip to the bin to keep Edwards company,
Cannock held strong with 13 men and the score remained unchanged
Edwards returned from yellow
Forest picked up a penalty and kicked for the corner and showed that they were willing to join a maul as long as it was their ball , the
drive on led to a pile up over the line which after a long deliberation the referee decided had been grounded , conversion missed.
Forest came back and made the most of the overlap with a man short on the Cannock side and scored again, conversion missed due to a fringe malfunction on the forest kicker.
Gladstone return from yellow
Back at full strength Cannock applied the pressure hard and strong lines from Josh ,Pedley and Baker set Reeth up for his now trademark I’m coming through centre crash to score under the sticks , nudge Eel conversion good
The Cannock pack drove hard and cut their way back straight from the restart with a big drive over the line , the referee decided this was held up and forest kicked themselves out of trouble to gain field position , in the dying minutes Forest seemed to pick up penalty after penalty but Cannock held the line , after finding out there was no way through and no way over Forest decided to go around again and score as far out in the corner as they could , the kicker obviously feeling the pressure of the potential game winning kick tried to creep his tee infield but was admirably sent back wide by the referee , kick missed
Full time Cannock win 29-28 and are through to next round
Thank you to Leicester Forest for travelling over and giving us the tightest battle so far.
Coach Pow after having his heart re started by buckley on the sidelines could only comment with “why do you do this to me boys, now cmon ya teas oot”
Well done and thank you to the man of the match Stephen Frost with remarkable tackle count and commitment to the cause.(welsh national holiday next year frost)