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Stanford first string struggle to deal with Peg power
9:35am Wednesday 30th October 2013 in Sport
Pegasus Palmerians 25
RUGBY: THIS Essex Two League Thurrock local derby was played out in tough and adverse weather conditions at Herd Lane.
Pegasus were in confident mood after last week’s positive winning display at Billericay and wanted to show the same tenacity and clinical finishing against Stanford. Playing into a strong head wind, Pegasus’ game-plan was to play a quick and expansive style, while there were glimpses of their intention early on, Pegasus were guilty of forcing play at times. Handling errors and over commitment to force play led to a lot of frustration as hard earned scoring chances were wasted. Stanford used their wind advantage very well to clear their defensive lines, a number of long range booming clearance kicks that went from 22 to 22 metre lines instantly disheartened the Peg boys who had to regroup, before then having to work the ball back up the field through phase after phase of play for the opportunity to score.
A penalty infringement just inside Peg’s 22 gave Stanford the opportunity to take the lead and it was duly accepted.
From the restart Pegasus relished the opportunity to get the ball back in their opponent’s half and aggressively chased down the kick to gain possession back, giving them a better platform to attack from. A cross field weaving run by centre Collier led to an overlap out wide for James Polelack to gratefully dive over out-wide for an unconverted try.
From a defensive kick and chase, Stanford forced an attacking 5 metre line out which they won well and crashed over leaving the score at 8-5 to the away side.
While Pegasus were happy to go into the second half only three down and with the wind advantage, they sensed an opportunity for points when a big line break from Neil Brown gave them front foot ball to attack as Stanford were on the back foot. Number 8 Ben Gray sensed this and burrowed his way over a scrambled defence to score.
Pegasus were delighted to have a 10-8 lead but were disappointed they were not dominating the evenly contested first half.
A couple of selection changes and a stern talking too from coach Gray, got the Peg back in confident mood and focused back on the original game plan.
Pegasus showed their intention throughout as their expansive running style troubled their opponents, as in this half Stanford did not have their defensive kicking option to fall back on, which left them under a lot of constant pressure.
While Stanford defending well they could not prevent Pegasus gaining a bonus point victory with further tries coming from Neil Brown and Michael Barker.
As regular kicker Lewis Shamu handed over the kicking duties to captain Greg Bramwell after missing his third opportunity for the extras, Bramwell had slightly more luck with hitting a penalty and conversion to extend their lead and take an important home win and which moves them up to fourth in the table.
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