This week saw Cannock making the trip to Ashfield in the National Cup. After another long drive the warm up was short, swift and to the point, pregame chat was simple, play rugby and execute what we've been training and enjoy it.
The home side started things with a kick off the 10 would quickly like to forget. Drifting straight out of touch and allowing the Cannock pack to start the game with the first of many scrums. Clean strike from debut hooker Mark Davies allowed a solid platform for some phases. The forwards linking well with the backs to ship the ball and push into the home territory. A lost ball gave the home side possession and they pushed into the Cannock half only to be held out by solid Cannock defence. Cannock knew that up front hits was a must in this game and our defence had to be on point.
Poor discipline by the Homeside at the breakdown allowed Cannock to get a penalty, Cannock wanted to keep the pressure on and put the ball in to touch for a line-out. Unfortunately the line-out didn't go to plan and a lost ball allowed the visitors to clear there lines but only to fall in to the hands of the dangerous Jordan Pincombe who made a striking run up the park but got stopped and turned over by the Homeside.
Scrum down again with the impressive and on form Jay Barrett, Mark Davies and Danny Parson Cannock won the scrum with a powerful drive from the pack to ship the ball out to Scott Pedley to who did a clever miss pass to send Skipper Gareth Ley down the wing with some clever hands and charged it all the way to the try line to narrowly miss scoring and get bundled in to touch. However, poor discipline by the Homeside again with off the ball antics holding Jordan Pincombe back gave Cannock and kick just to the left of the post which was missed.
From the restart the Cannock pack gathered and carried hard. Good offload's in contact from Joe Brookes, Kris Hampton and Halil Gazucukuck allowed Cannock to gain good yards deep in the Homeside half. Another Strong carry from Jon Freeman who shipped the ball out to Scott Pedley who ploughed over for the try.
Conversion missed 0-5
Another restart from the Homeside and Cannock were looking to keep the momentum going, a clean take by Kris Hampton and a good carry allowed Neil Cartwright who was having a good, controlled and patient game ( Kalms pills ) shipped the ball out to Pedley who unleashed Josh Humphries, who cut back towards the pack to set up some good runs. Great rucking from Stephen Frost and the pack saw the ball come out quickly and superb hands from Pedley out to Carl palmer who stormed it down the wing like a man possessed, beat his man and ran in to scored his first ever try for Cannock first team, congratulations Palmer
Conversion missed 0-10 to Cannock.
Questionable penalties awarded to the home side failed to materialise as the ever impressive Cannock defence held strong, Cannock defensive this season is becoming stronger each week. A penalty given away in front of the posts and the home side 10 made the kick to put them on the score board.
Cannock restarted the game with a great restart and immediately putting the home team under pressure and turning over the ball. Great carries from Halil who unleashed Daniel “am not a forward” Blake, who had an impressive run and took 3 of there men to stop him. Poor discipline from the Homeside again at the breakdown allowed gave Cannock a penalty, post were called and Jordan Pincombe duly slotted to end the half.
3-13 to Cannock.
The word at the huddle was to enjoy your rugby and cut the penalties.
The second half started and a good chase from Cannock pinned the home side back in their 22.
Some very unorthodox/illegal rucking technique by the home side led to captain Gareth Ley taking a heavy knock to the head and having to sit this one out and Ashfield's man seeing yellow.
Cannock's scrum continuing to work well all day and holding steady and being forced through the opposition by the second and back row.
The first points of the second half would go to Ashfield as, yet again, a Cannock penalty allowed their kicker to convert.
Solid set piece gave impressive runs with Hal handing off men all over the park and the mighty inform Joe Brooke's unleashing the duly missed Ian Whitmell who broke through the middle of the defence and gave Josh Humphreys the ball to what we thought would of been an easy run in try, only to be scragged at the 5 metre line by there 10. Recycled ball shipped wide but poor hands by Cannock saw a try go down the drain.
Scrum down to Ashfield, which was turned over by Cannock once again, after a text book pick and go for the line by Jon Freeman, surely he was in to score but only to be denied but the wrong line. The ref, also mistaken, was about to award the try before being reminded of his location on the pitch. Ashfield No. 5 causing off the ball antics again saw the ref reach for the pocket and show the victimised Jon Freeman finally crossed the ref's line of sight one too many times and was judged to have had his hands in the ruck and saw yellow.
The rest of the half saw Cannock defending some strong carries from Ashfield with a man down and managing to hold them well. Changes at half time saw, Dan Clarke and and Alex Turner join the game. Dan Clarke was under some pressure in the 10 shirt but managed to keep focus and clear Cannock lines when under pressure.The second half was not the type of rugby Cannock like to play and it ended up being a scrappy 40 mins of rugby. The backs finally getting their hands on the ball ended in the home side's 22 and a penalty to the visitors, post’s called and Jordan Pincombe obliged to end the game.
6-16 to Cannock.
Man of the match this week went to a deserved Mark Davies for a stellar performance on debut as hooker with honourable mentions going to front row in general and to Carl Palmer for his first try for Cannock 1's.
Strong performances all around the park by all 18 men today saw Cannock advance to the next round of the Cup and also secure 4 wins from 4 away from home this season.
Next week see's a return to league action with the Newly kitted Cannock men facing Cleobury Mortimer at home.
Training Tuesdays and Thursdays 7-9.
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