Morpeth 5 Stags 31

By Old P*** - September 20 2009
Morpeth 5 Stags 31
Butcher - 1st try The Stags travelled to Morpeth with the selected squad apart from the withdrawal of Wallis. After a convincing win at home against Horden in their first game and then a stumble last week against Rovers away the Morpeth team were hoping to bounce back with a win against the CANDY League champions.
However the visiting Stags team had other ideas and took the game to Morpeth from the Kick off. The game ebbed and flowed for the first fifteen minutes as each team tried to gain the upper hand. When the referee awarded the Stags a scrum on the right hand side of the field as a result of a knock-on the ball was moved very quickly along the backline to left wing S. Butcher who rounded his opposite number to score, converted by S. Waites (0-7).

The Morpeth pack then pinned the Stags back into their own half for a considerable period as they strove to get back into the game. However the Stags defence held firm with some very good defence work by the whole team, particularly the centres G. Robinson and W. Turnbull. As the match progressed the Stags pack began to gain the upper hand in both the tight and the loose play. As a result of a series of driving plays they moved the ball up to the home team 22 metre line on the 34 minute mark where the referee penalised Morpeth for handling the ball on the floor and S. Waites calmly stroked the ball over the bar (0-10) for the last score of the first half.

From the kick off the Stags were pinned back on their 22 as the home team tried to breakdown their defences. However on the 50 minute mark, as a result of a turnover ball G. Robinson placed a very well weighted kick downfield for S. Butcher to chase which he did at a tremendous pace tackling the covering defender as he collected the ball and knocking him to the ground. He then jumped to his feet and picked up the spilt ball and trotted unopposed under the posts for a very good try, converted by S. Waites (0-17).

The Morpeth team were not going to lie down and six minutes later as a result of a turnover ball in the middle of the park they began a series of quick rucks which saw their flanker charge over from ten metres out to score a try which was unconverted (5-17).

As a result of conceding this score the Stags began to move the ball around the park with some fluency and consistency with some good linking between backs and forwards. On the 64th minute the forwards having driven the ball down the right hand side of the field. Then released a quick ball to the backs and replacement centre P. Miller drove through three defenders to crash over from eighteen metres out, converted by S. Waites (5-24).

The Stags were immediately back on the attack down the right hand side of the field and some 4 minutes later full back D. Thomas came into the line at pace and sprinted through the defence from twenty metres out to cross the line unopposed converted by S. Waites (5-31) for what was the final score of the very entertaining game.

As a result of this win the Stags have had a very good start to their season winning their first three league games all away from home and collecting a bonus in each one. Which means that, their first home match of the season against second in the table Mowden Park II will come as a welcome change to them.

Stags: M. Hogan (A. Coates 20) A. Dixon Capt, J. Greenwell, A. Robson, B. Lloyd (M. Hogan) A. Barker (G. Jackson 16), A. Cameron, (B. Corbett 72) J. Rafferty, P. Williamson, S. Waites, S. Butcher, G. Robinson, W. Turnbull (P. Miller 55), M. Pierce, D. Thomas.