Westoe IIs 27 Stags 52

By Stags Management - November 4 2010
Westoe IIs 27 Stags 52
Neil Howe The Stags overcame a far from ideal match preparation for their game at Westoe, to eventually run out winners 27 - 52. On arrival at Westoe clubhouse they were informed that they were to play their game at a pitch several miles away.
Tthis wouldn’t have been a problem if it hadn't been for the fact that there was nobody available to show us how to get there and the people who were there could only provide vague directions.

The consequence of this was that some of the players got lost on the way, resulting in the team not starting it’s warm up until around 2.30pm.

West began the game kicking into a very strong, bitter wind blowing from end to end. Immediately from the kick off West applied some good pressure on Westoe with some good forward drives seeing them make several yards, only a couple of knock-on's and mistakes preventing them from scoring. When the ball went out to the backs there as some good strong running in the centre by Neil Howe and Luke Watson coming into the line, although this was met by some resolute Westoe tackling.

After only five minutes West were forced into their first change when Joe Rafferty damaged his thumb, Paul Miller replaced him, with Alex Barker moving into the second row and Miller taking up position on the flank.

Eventually West got some reward for their efforts with their first score on twenty minutes. Some good play by the forwards created space for the backs and Gav Robinson cut through the defense to touch down under the posts, Zac Southern converting; (0 - 7). West continued to work hard in the forwards, but a few mistakes and an enthusiastic Westoe defense prevented them from putting the phases together.

When they finally did they created space out wide and on twenty-five minutes Zac Southern ran in West's second try, although he was unable to make the conversion; (0 - 12).

West then went to sleep a little and after some poor first up tackling Westoe were able to run in their first try on thirty-three minutes, missing the resulting conversion; (5 - 12). Virtually straight from the kick off Westoe again secured procession and span the ball wide for the winger to run in in the corner, the conversion was again missed; (10 - 12).

On thirty seven minutes a Westoe player received a yellow card for continuous infringement and the half finished with West working well down the blind side but unable to add to their score with the half finishing 10 - 12.

West had the worst possible start to the second half. Westoe gathered the kick off and began a counter attack from their own half, which eventually resulted in them scoring in the corner, again missing the conversion: (15 - 12). This seemed to stir West into action and they responded almost immediately when Gav Robinson exploited a gap in the Westoe defense on forty-six minutes to run in and score his second try under the posts, Southern converting; (15 - 19).

Next on the score sheet for West was Neil Howe, from a scrum in the centre of the field Davey Tighe broke blind and fed Howe who powered his way over the line on fifty-one minutes, Southern converting a superb kick from wide out; (15 - 26). Finally West started putting a few phases together, which created room out wide for Greg Edwards to exploit and force his way over the line on fifty-seven minutes, Southern missing the conversion; (15 - 31).

Westoe then started to work their way back into the game with some good runs from their forwards exposing some poor West tackling and they forced another try on sixty minutes, the conversion was missed; (20 - 31). West forwards scrummaged well all afternoon, continually putting the Westoe pack under pressure and when Andy Dixon took a ball against the head West ran through a few phases before Paul Miller crashed over on the sixty-fifth minute, Southern slotting the conversion; (20 - 38).

West were beginning to dominate more and more and from a good line out the ball was spun wide and after a couple of breakdowns Paul Miller rounded off a good forwards performance by popping up in the centre’s to power over the line on sixty-five minutes for his second try, Southern again converting (20 - 45).

The final try for West came on seventy-five minutes when Michael Hogan topped off a fine performance with a powerful fifteen meter run, which ended in him crashing over the line, Southern making the conversion from wide out; (20 - 52). The final score of the game went to Westoe when they were awarded a rather dubious penalty try for constant West infringements, making the final score 27 - 52.

Although the preparation was not ideal, West still made hard work of the game and allowed Westoe to keep getting back into the game with a combination of some weak first up tackling and mistakes. In saying that, however, to go to Westoe and score the number of tries they did and have the margin of victory shows that they are playing some good rugby.

This Saturday the Stags take on Blaydon at home, Blaydon have had some mixed results this season but they will undoubtedly provide a stern challenge.
Also, thanks go to Karlos who agreed to travel up and be on the bench at very short notice.

Starting XV: L Watson, Z Southern, N Howe, G Robinson, G Edwards, S Waites, D Tighe, M Hogan, A Dixon, A Coates, J Rafferty, B Lloyd, C Young, A Barker, P Henderson
Res: P Miller, K Graham