Stags 42 Blaydon 12

By Stags Management - November 4 2010
Stags 42 Blaydon 12
Andy Cheslin The revised pre-match schedule and preparations provided an immediate impact as the Stags overcame a powerful Blaydon team to seal an impressive 42 - 12 victory.... their best display of the season so far ...
West began the game with the breeze at their backs in perfect conditions for running rugby. West’s forwards started strongly with some good forward surges and working the blind side to make some good ground. The forwards dominated the early line outs and continued to do so for much of the game with a number of well organised and executed catch and drives. West’s first try came on twelve minutes, after some good forward drives and offloads the ball was spun out to the left wing where Andy Cheslin rounded his opposite number to score in the corner, Scott Butcher made the conversion from wide out; (7 - 0).

West were now starting to get into their stride with some good phases of play. On occasions Blaydon struggled to contain West's attacks and when they conceded a penalty close to their line Davey Tighe went quickly and fed Carl Miller who stormed over on eighteen minutes, Butcher putting the conversion wide; (12 - 0). Blaydon were able to strike straight back when West failed to gather the kick off they mounted an attack and after some poor West tackling Blaydon forced their way over the line between the posts on twenty minutes and slotted the conversion; (12 - 7).

This acted as a bit of a wake up call for West and they again began to exert their authority on the game. West worked their way up the field and after Blaydon gave away a free kick a quick tap and go saw Ben Lloyd fed to charge over the line, Butcher missing the conversion; (17 - 7). West began to up the tempo and after a number of quick plays found themselves with an attacking line out and an excellent catch and drive from the forwards allowed Davey Tighe room to cross the line on thirty-five minutes, Butcher again unable to convert; (22 - 7). Straight from the kick off West again went back on the attack and from a scrum near the Blaydon line Davey Tighe went blind and fed Scott Butcher who ran in for the try right on half time, although he was unable to convert his own try, leaving the half time score 27 - 7.

At the start of the second half both teams had their opportunities to score, but a few mistakes prevented this. West continued to play rugby in the running style and the second half performance saw some of the best rugby they have played this season. After fifty minutes West suffered a set back when Phil Henderson was shown a yellow card for playing the ball on the floor, after coming on at half time for the injured Chris Young. Blaydon were able to make the most of their one-man advantage and scored their second try on fifty-three minutes, missing the conversion; (27 – 12).

West soon got back into their stride and some good angles and powerful running form Luke Watson and Paul Miller put West in some good attacking positions. West continued to play at pace and played some very entertaining rugby. When the Blaydon number eight was yellow carded for a tackle off the ball West took control. The catch and drive from the line out was making yards on every occasion and West looked threatening every time they attacked and from a five meter line out West’s forwards again executed the catch and drive and Ben Lloyd was the one who grounded the ball on sixty minutes, Butcher missed the conversion; (32 – 12).

West were now running the ball from all positions and the forwards again set the platform and the next to score was Carl Miller who was on the end of a great forward drive on seventy-five minutes, Butcher couldn’t make the conversion; (37 – 12). West’s final try came on seventy minutes when Greg Edwards topped off a fine performance with a nice run and try Zac Southern, who had come on for Andy Cheslin, was unable to make the difficult conversion; (42 - 12). With West’s victory secured the final ten minutes was fairly even with neither side creating any scoring opportunities and the game ended 42 - 12.

After a couple of below par performances against Horden and Westoe in the previous two weeks, this performance was a marked improvement with the Stags playing some very entertaining running rugby, which was a pleasure to watch and this was probably the Stags best performance of the season so far.

Starting XV: L Watson, S Butcher, P Miller, G Edwards, A Cheslin, G Robinson, D Tighe, M Hogan, A Dixon, R Wood, J Rafferty, B Lloyd, C Young, A Barker, C Miller
Res: Z Southern, P Henderson, and J Painter