Heughers 16 Stags 26

By Stags Management - November 18 2010
Heughers 16 Stags 26
Andrew Cheslin first The Stags took a break from the Candy League this weekend with a friendly against Rovers Heughers, played at Tech. It was another lovely day for rugby with bright sunshine and only a very slight breeze. West lost the toss and played down the bank in the first half.
West got off to the perfect start and after three minutes they scored their first try, Davey Tighe went blind from a scrum in the Rovers twenty-two and drew his man before feeding Andy Cheslin who ran in unopposed in the corner, Paul Moss missing the conversion form wide out; 0 - 5. The try was probably the worst thing that could have happened to West as they seemed to switch off at this point and allowed Rovers to come back into the game.

Rovers battled well, disrupting a lot of West ball and often forcing them into conceding penalties. Rovers applied some good, consistent pressure and after eleven minutes they were rewarded with a well taken penalty; 3 - 5. West struggled to get through their phases, with a combination of mistakes and inconsistent refereeing decisions not helping the situation. Taking nothing away from Rovers, however, as they competed well and on eighteen minutes were awarded another kickable penalty, which they converted to move one point ahead; 6 - 5.

West started to get through a few phases but, never really settled into any rhythm and found it very difficult to break down the Rovers defence. West were getting increasingly frustrated with the game and on twenty-three minutes conceded a penalty after some dissent and Rovers were able to convert the penalty and moved further into the lead; 9 - 5.

The rest of the first half was fairly scrappy with many of the refereeing decisions going against West. Neither side really looked like getting a try and the next scoring opportunity fell to Rovers when they were awarded another penalty on thirty-two minutes, although the attempt at goal went wide and the first half finished 9 - 5.

Rovers started the second half in a similar fashion to the way West started the first, with a try after only three minutes. A little chip ahead found West lacking in defence and kind bounce wrong footed Luke Watson allowing the Rovers attacker to round the full back and run the try in under the posts, then adding the conversion; 16 - 5.

West still felt they were able to win the game and began to work their way back into the game and started to create some attacking threat. They worked they way into Rovers twenty-two and after being held up over the line were awarded a five-meter scrum. West applied some good pressure in the scrum and after a number of resets Rovers were finally adjudged of collapsing the scrum, which the referee felt would have resulted in a try had it not gone down, and as a result awarded a penalty try, Paul Moss slotting the conversion; 16 - 12.

Rovers had the chance to further increase their lead on fifty-five minutes with another penalty but the kick went wide of the target. West continued to exert some good pressure and for the first time in the game managed to string a few good phases together and after some good passages of play Carl Miller crossed the line on fifty-eight minutes, Moss converting; 16 - 19.

The final try of the afternoon sealed the win for West when Paul Moss crossed the line on seventy minutes, after a number of good forward drives created the gaps for the backs to run into, Moss crossed under the posts, converting his own try; 16 - 26. Rovers weren't finished, however, and went straight back up the field and mounted a sustained attack on the West line, although some excellent West defence meant they were unable to score.

During these final passages of play West received two yellow cards one to captain Andy Dixon who had been testing the patience of Mr English all afternoon, with him finally taking no more on seventy-four minutes. He was soon joined by Ben Lloyd, on seventy-seven minutes when he was also yellow carded for dissent, resulting in neither player taking any further part in the game.

Although this was not a great performance from West they still came away with the win, although their performances are going to have to improve in the coming weeks if they are to keep their impressive unbeaten run in tact, with an away Cup game at Darlington this weekend followed by an away game at Blaydon and a Home game against Tynedale.

Starting XV: L Watson, S Butcher, P Miller, G Edwards, A Cheslin, P Moss, D Tighe, M Hogan, A Dixon, R Wood, A Jackson, B Lloyd, L Mills, A Barker, C Miller
Res: P Dove, A Cameron