Cast your minds back a month to when our boys last played Rushden, the score that day was 0-78 to Rushden… well, needless to say Sundays match was a very different story.
Brimming with confidence after their victory against Bugbrooke, Stockwood approached this match with even more desire to set things straight against Rushden, who by all intents and purposes arrived under the impression this was going to be an easy game for them. Right from the off both teams got heavily stuck into each other and it didn’t take long before we were witnessing some truly heavy and well timed tackles. Rafal Drag in particular loves a tackle and on several occasions literally stopped players in their tracks stunting the Rushden advance, it didn’t take long before Rushden realised they had a fight on their hands.
After a hard worked phase of play by the away team they managed to score a well deserved try, I say well deserved because they really did have to work for it, it certainly wasn’t gifted to them. The Stockwood boys however did not seem put off by this at all, after watching the Rushden kicker miss the conversion they picked themselves up and got straight back to it, pressing ever harder against the Rushden defence.
A quick mention at this point to William, who did an amazing job this Sunday supplying from the scrum. Also a quick mention to ‘Reecey’ (nice one Sarah Sweeney) another player who loves a crunching tackle and consistently made it difficult for the opposition to gain ground.
As the half wore on the Stockwood players continued to pressurise the Rushden defence. The frustration on the sidelines from the away supporters and coaching staff was palpable and only got worse when Tarik Khan made a brilliant line break, again using his turn of pace to leave the opposition for dead. He duly scored and Jordan followed up with a perfect conversion kick. The half time whistle blew with Stockwood leading by 2 points.
The stage was now set for a cliff hanger of a second half. Both teams were leaving nothing on the table and that was to continue for the rest of the game. Rushden scored from a well worked line out which turned into a maul that pushed its way over the Stockwood line, however again their kicker missed the conversion.
The next few minutes saw Rushden gain some momentum as they managed to find a couple of gaps in the Stockwood defence, but a try saving tackle by Tarik ensured that the game stayed finely balanced. While Rushden were enjoying this phase of play Anset Lewis took a heavy knock to the head during this pause in play. We witnessed the athletic heroics of Mark Snr as he rushed to tend to Anset on the sidelines, respect. 🙂
It was telling that Rushden resorted to kicking a penalty in order to edge further ahead, their lack of confidence in going for the try is a testament to how well the Stockwood boys were playing. The home side were not done yet however. After some well worked passes Carter made an impressive run down the wing which was the catalyst for Stockwoods next try. An initial failed ruck resulted in Rushden trying to kick to gain ground, however Joe Ladley had other ideas. A brilliant charge down by him and catch resulted in one of the most surprising tries I’ve seen in an U15’s match. Unfortunately Jordan could not convert this time, the ball agonisingly close to going over but just short.
The two sides continued to battle hard but Stockwood appeared to be in the ascendancy, Joe Ladley again almost managing to break through with a series of kicks but couldn’t quite get to the line first. The home side were pressuring Rushden all the way and victory seemed a real possibility. Was it not for a couple of handling errors in the last few minutes the home side would have scored another try, but on such fine margins games are won or lost.
The end score was 13-12 to Rushden but I think the boys should look at that result as a resounding win. To halt a team like Rushden and make them work that hard to win by 1 point shows how far the team has come. Well done lads, keep it up!
Coaches Feedback – A special mention to two players Mason and Luke, who even though not picked came down and supported the team in our penultimate league game. Cheers lads
The result may not have gone the way we wanted however the experience, performance and the bonds created from this game will help this team significantly going forward. Also the effort in training for the last two weeks has been top notch and it really starting to show on the pitch.
Again this week a number of standout performers, Reece and Raf with their relentless tackling, Joe Cooper, Joe Sweeney providing a great impact off the bench and Carter Bowes electric running on the wing.
Man of the match this week goes to two players Tarik and Joe Ladley.
Tarik for his number of try saving tackles and great solo try. Joe Ladley for his crunching tackles and great opportunist try.
Well done lads lets look forward to our next game next Sunday against Watford.