A strong Stockwood Park 3rd XV fell to their first defeat of the season at home today with visiting side Cranfield University RFC claiming a well deserved 17-12 victory.
Stockwood started well, with some barnstorming runs from forwards Will Bennett and Jake Godfrey, who also put in some big hits during a great personal performance.
The game began to swing the way of the visitors, as Stockwood began to argue between themselves, and as the elusive Cranfield backs began to fire, they were able to run in three quick fire tries. The handling was Barbarianesque from Cranfield, who played a fast, open game that Stockwood couldn’t handle in parts.
The game was played at a fast pace either side of the half, but with a mix of poor handling and missed tackles, neither side took full control.
The final 20 minutes of the game was fitting of a Babas vs Fiji fixture, with long loopy passes, loose kicks and lots of open space for backs to utilise. Stockwood did manage to get over the white wash with fly half Ieuan-Rhys Beal acrobatically finishing in the corner after a well timed pass from centre Will Standering.
But that was not enough for the home side, despite some strong running from Shaq Richards, Dave Brooks and Beal, as Cranfield held out for the victory.
Captain Seamus Griffin said after the game:
“We let them play all the rugby in the first half, allowing their creative backs to run at us and cause problems.
“As well as Cranfield played, we beat ourselves today and I know the lads will feel disappointed with periods of the game.
“Ieuan ran strongly in the second half, and Dan Hooper continue to show his defensive attributes and was solid throughout, but we know we can do better, and that we are capable of playing better rugby for a full 80 minutes.”