I got up this morning wondering if the game would take place or not – the weather forecast was not good but then I remembered this was Rugby and not Football! Having battled through the rain and roadworks on the M1 we arrived at our hosts ready for a battle and the boys did not disappoint.
The ref started the game on a wet and windy day – conditions which were going to prove tricky. Northampton Old Boys were a large, physical team and they put the Stockwood boys under pressure from the first minute. Our boys defence was immense and Old Boys were unable to break them down.
Then from Stockwood’s first real attack they gained a scrum in their opponents half and a passage on good handling and passing across the line released Jordan on the right whose strength and speed were too much for Northampton Old Boys to handle and he scored in the corner.
Northampton Old Boys rallied and Stockwood defended heroically and our hosts thought the had equalised only for a last ditch tackle by William held the ball up. However, the pressure eventually told and Old Boys ran in a try underneath the posts which they duly converted. Instead of our boys heads going down the reply was almost instantaneous and a clever wind assisted kick by Kieran tested the Old Boys full back. Once again Jordan outpaced his opponents to score his second try of the day, a try which Kieran converted to make the score at half-time 12 point to 7 in favour of the visitors.
The second half was to prove even more competitive than the first with some hard tackles and scraps all over the pitch. The only score of the second half came from a really good team effort, when Connor released a quick ball from a Stockwood scrum to Kieran. The ball was then moved through the hands to Max and then Joe Ladley before Reece exploded down the left. Fortunately Joe L was able to keep up with him in support and a clever pass by Reece allowed Joe L to score between the posts.
Both teams were resolute in defence for the rest of the half with neither side able to add to their points tally. A very good win for Stockwood by 17 points to 7 against a strong and physical opposition.
I was really impressed by the ball handling and decision making from Stockwood in testing conditions – more of the same over the rest of the season please. A special mention needs to be given to Rob Coupland, who was desperate for a box kick and much to his delight he was treated to not one but three from William and Connor!