Horden 22 Stags 60

By Stags Management - October 22 2010
Horden 22 Stags 60
A Cheslin West Stags maintained their 100% winning record for the season with a hard fought win over Horden Seconds in the Candy League. Although the teams were sitting at opposite ends of the table this was never going to be an easy game for West and so it proved as Horden put up a very spirited display. .
It was a lovely sunny day in Horden, not very often you can say that, perfect conditions for open running rugby

From the kick off Horden exerted the majority of the early pressure, mainly based around their large pack and were awarded a penalty after four minutes, although the attempt at goal went just wide. West began to work there way back into the game and after a good catch and drive from a lineout the ball was spun out to the backs and Simon Cavey was at the end of the final pass to cross for the first try on eleven minutes, Zac Southern slotted the conversion from wide out; (0 – 7).

The resulting restart went straight into touch and from the scrum at the centre West went blind, with Phill Henderson linking with Davey Tighe who then found Luke Watson who ran in unopposed for the second try on fourteen minutes, Southern again made the conversion; (0 – 14). Leading up to the try Simon Cavey was injured and was replaced by Andy Cheslin, making his first appearance for the Stags this season. During the course of the game West used rolling substitutes in the forwards with John Painter and Paul Dove changing at loose head several times during the game.

Horden forwards were making their mark and on nineteen minutes they were rewarded with their first try and successful conversion; (7 – 14). At this point the game became a bit scrappy with Horden committing numbers to the rucks and often disrupted or turning over West ball, this prevented West from getting into their stride and they weren’t able to go through the phases as often as they would have liked to. Both sides missed penalties before West got the next score when Luke Waton burst into the back line with a strong run and from the resulting ruck the ball was fed to Phill Henderson to run in for a try on twenty-five minutes, Southern missing the conversion (7 – 19). The next try came on thirty-five minutes, good build up and strong running from Paul miller saw the ball spun wide with Andy Cheslin crossing un opposed in the corner, Southern kicked the conversion (7 – 26). West continued to pressurize Horden and some good work up the blind side by Davey Tighe and Paul Miller finally saw Ben Lloyd crossing the white wash on thirty-eight minutes, Southern again slotting the conversion (7 – 33). Finally West were able to put some phases together and the final try of the first half went to Andy Cheslin on the strike of half time, Southern putting the conversion wide, making the half time score 7 – 38.

The second half started off fairly scrappily a combination of Horden’s dogged forward display and West not committing sufficient numbers to the ruck meant that the ball was continually disrupted and West could not get any flow to their play or get trough the phases. This wasn’t helped by the team conceding a significant number of penalties, which kept putting them back under pressure.

A couple of strong runs and chases from Neil Howe allowed West to work their way up the field and after a number of phases Paul Miller crossed for the first try of the half, Southern landing the conversion (7 - 45). Horden never gave up and on sixty minutes were rewarded with a penalty, which they converted (10 - 45). A nasty collision between Phil Henderson and a Horden forward forced them both to leave the field, Henderson with a touch of concussion and the Horden player with severely broken nose! West brought on the sprightly Anthony Cameron as replacement.

Horden then put together their most consistent phase of attacking play of the game putting West on the back foot and scored a further try and conversion on sixty two minutes. (17 - 45). Straight from the restart West regained possession and when the ball went blind Zac Southern embarked on a jinky run before touching down in the corner, although he couldn’t convert his own try (17 - 50). West further extended their lead after some good work from the forwards allowed Davey Tighe to touch down on sixty-seven minutes, Southern missed the conversion; (17 – 55).

Horden were the next to score on seventy-two minutes from a quick penalty five yards out, taking advantage of some lax West defending, although they were unable to slot the conversion; (22 – 55). As Horden tired West started to find more gaps and good build up lead to Zac Southern’s second try on seventy seven minutes although he was unable to convert, leaving the final score 22 – 60.

Although in the end there was decent margin of victory, after the game there was general disappointment throughout the team because of the below par performce. The Stags have the quality within the team to perform at a high level and by their own admission Saturday’s performance was not up to the high standard they have set themselves. They know the type of rugby they want to play and so far this season they have achieved that, but they need to learn to adapt or change the game plan based on what tactics the opposition adopt.

This weekend sees the Stags travel to Westoe, followed by a home game against Blaydon and an away game at Billingham.

Starting XV: L Watson, Z Southern, P Miller, N Howe, S Cavey, G Robinson, D Tighe, P Dove, A Dixon, A Coates, C Miller, B Lloyd, C Young, A Barker, P Henderson
Res: A Cheslin, J Painter, A Cameron