Mowden II 8 Stags 41

By Old P - October 20 2008
Mowden II 8 Stags 41
Thorn Returns On an excellent day for running rugby and a first-rate pitch the Stags were given the opportunity to show what they can produce in the way of entertaining rugby, against one of the teams above them in the early stages of CANDY league.
Bolstered by the inclusion of the three first team reserves of last week, two players returning from injury and one new recruit to the West ranks. The squad was completely different to the one that battled so admirably against Blaydon last week.

From the kick off, in front of a reasonable crowd the Stags failed to clear their lines and put themselves under pressure, after eight minutes of stop start play they conceded a penalty on the twenty two which Mowden converted (3-0).

The next phase of game was then played out entirely in the Mowden half of the field but the Stags were continually thwarted by referee who penalised them for their inability to stay on their feet at the breakdown, a factor that was constant throughout the first half with some nine penalties conceded for this offence alone. It was not until the twenty fifth minute that left winger Edwards was given the ball in a one to one situation some fifteen metres out where he rounded his opposite number to score in the left hand corner unconverted (3-5).

The game continued in a rather stop start manner until half time, with nether side managing to gain the upper hand. Although the Stags forwards dominated the scrums, they were not able to control the line outs, as a result of which they struggled despite having the majority of the possession to develop any continuity in their play, which resulted in a half time score of (3-5).

Changes in the back row at half time injected a considerable amount of dynamism into the team and as a result of good quick handling on the forty seventh minute mark saw winger Thorn was set free down the right wing to score in the corner unconverted (3-10).

After some pressure by Mowden a great driving run one of many during the game by prop Stewart on the fifty five minute mark who then sent out a quick long pass to centre Robinson, who had only been on the field for five minutes to cross the line in the right had corner, unconverted (3-15).

The Stags then began to up the tempo of the game, particularly in the forwards where they continually pushed the Mowden pack in the scrum some considerable distances, creating all sorts of problems for them. As a result of quick ‘stolen ball’ the ball was moved to the centres where a superbly timed pass from Robinson gave fellow centre Hodgson the smallest of gaps through which he burst through to score on the sixty fourth minute mark unconverted (3-20).

Two minutes later winger Butcher who had just come on to the field was released down the right wing after some very quick handling to score which was converted (3-27).

The play was now all in the Mowden half of the field and on the seventy fifth minute centre Robinson burst through the line to score under the posts which he converted himself (3-34).

Three minutes later Hooker Sawyer scored with a jinking run from fifteen metres out as a result of a quickly won ruck ball converted by Robinson (3-41).

Mowden did finally manage get some consolation on the eightieth minute as a result of an interception try some thirty metres out by their inside centre, unconverted (8 – 41).

This game showed that when all of their players are available the Stags team can compete with any of the teams in the CANDY league and this result should give them good heart for next week’s fixture against Darlington.

Stags: A. Coates, T. Sawyer, C. Stewart, I. Robinson (J. Greenwell 55), B. Lloyd, S. Smart (J. Baggs 40), H. Tones (Morrison 40), D Garside, P Williamson, R Thorn (S Butcher 64), N. Howe (G. Robinson 49), P. Hodgson, G. Edwards, S. Cavey. Referee: P. Makins Durham Referees Society.