Get involved: send your pictures, video, news and views by texting TGNEWS to 80360 or you can email us Click here for details »
Stanford put up great display against high flying rivals
5:00am Friday 28th September 2012 in Sport
Stanford RFC 36
RUGBY: STANFORD started their Essex 2 league campaign with a frustrating loss on home turf.
Clear favourites Writtle – relegated from Essex 1 last season – only just got away with the win.
Stanford went behind after Writtle attempted to cross the Stanford line but were denied an opening try and had to take the easier three point penalty. But Stanford gifted the Writtle open side flanker the first of two soft tries through their lack of tackling.
And after a Writtle sin-binning Stanford’s Liam Morley scored the first of his two tries. Ash Smith stepped slotted the perfect kick from wide.
Minutes later Jamie Evans gave Stanford the lead and the first of his two tries. Smith failed to hit his mark this time. Stanford’s Morley again blasted through for the next try after Joe McCallum – in the second row – drove through several tackles. Smith this time dissected the posts with a beautiful conversation.
When Writtle made it back to full strength their open side flanker scored and they showed their team power and brought the score back into their favour eight minutes of the first half remaining.
Accurate kicking from Matthew Rumble gave the forwards a great base to attack from. And scrum half Sam Herbert released the backs with Evans coming into the line and putting Stanford back into the lead. Ashley Smith cooly stepped and added the extra two points.
At the half time whistle Stanford were leading 26-22.
At the restart Robert Morgan and Reece Anderson were pivotal to every power play.
But Writtle scored from a powerful rolling maul. And straight after the restart Stanford’s Gary Burke was sin binned for use of hands.
A scrum just inside the Writtle half saw Stanford’s rivals throw a punch into Stanford’s open side flanker Dean Barter who reacted and both players took time out.
And, with both teams short handed, Writtle crossed the Stanford line again but again could not convert. Then Stanford’s Smith slotted home to earn his side another three points.
Stanford brought on fresh legs with Aaron Payne giving way to Rhys Smith-Allen and Aaron Smith giving way to Troy Elkes. Immediately both players made an impact with Smith-Allen receiving a kick that didn’t go into touch and running back into Writtle and making added ground. Next Elkes cut back inside to almost break the Writtle defence just falling feet short on the try line. Still with ball in hand Herbert moved the ball to Morley who nearly scored his hat trick but Anderson sweeped in onto the presented ball to take a deserved try.
At full time Stanford were still battling, but with the score on 41-36 to Writtle, Stanford earned two bonus points from the very close game.
Tomorrow (Saturday) Stanford welcome Ilford Wanderers to The Rec.