Hertfordshire Stags power past Surrey in RFU National Championship
Stags put 50 points on Surrey counterparts
Herts Stags 50 Surrey U20 8
Hertfordshire put on a fine display of attacking rugby to overcome Surrey in their second fixture in the RFU National U20 Championship at Bishop’s Stortford on Sunday.
Herts got off to a great start when a poor kick out of defence by the visitors was run back and centre Ashley Boyle of the home club jinked through a gap to score under the posts. Dan Watt (Old Albanian) converted.
With 20 minutes on the clock, Stortford centre Rorie Day eyed a small gap in the Surrey defensive line and although brought to ground, he was not held and had the presence of mind to regain his feet and feed the ball to the ever-supporting Tom Banks (Bishop’s Stortford) who crossed to take the home side into a 12-0 lead.
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Surrey responded well from the kick off only for a promising attack to be brought to a shuddering halt by the tackle of the match by blind side wing forward, Jamie Campbell. Herts then fought their way back into the Surrey half and from a free kick, Banks took a quick tap and fed hooker Will Roberts who crashed through the first tackle and powered his way over from 15 metres out to take Hertfordshire into a convincing 17-0 lead with 25 minutes played.
Surrey finally got on the scoreboard when Day was adjudged to have held onto the ball and Herts made the kicker’s job even easier by conceding 10 metres for a bit of back chat. Jack Masters (Rosslyn Park) converted.
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Enjoying their best spell of the game, Surrey attacked down the right wing and managed to get over the try line, but Dan Roberts (Letchworth) somehow managed to get under the Surrey player and prevent the ball from being grounded.
Hertfordshire turned to their bench during the second half which disrupted their tempo for a while, but it was not long before they were back on the scoreboard. Day made a half break and fed the powerful replacement tight head prop Declan Caulfield (Bishop’s Stortford) who charged over from 10 metres out. Dan Watt added the extra two points to take the score to 24-3. Even before the scoreboard was updated, Hertfordshire attacked down the middle of the field straight from the kick off and open side flanker James Sonner (Old Albanian) rounded off a fine move by scoring under the posts. Dan Watt again converted to take the score to 31-3.
Henry Mitchell (Tabard) was yellow carded for hands in the ruck after the referee adjudged that this was one offence too many by the home side. With 15 minutes left to play, Campbell pressured the Surrey backs and forced a turnover. The loose ball was gathered by replacement flanker Pat Falvey (Welwyn) who raced in from 40 metres out with virtually his first touch of the ball.
Try number seven for Herts came from a beautifully executed switch in the centre with Ashley Boyle cutting a lovely line to score under the posts, converted by replacement Tom Walsh. Within minutes, Boyle was on the score sheet again to complete his hat trick and finish off a fine team try with the ball having passed through several pairs of hands. Walsh again converted to take the score to 50-3. Surrey scored a consolation try right late on when replacement prop James Gillespie (Wimbledon) powered over after a period of pressure on the Herts line.
Stags’ next game is against Hampshire at Basingstoke which is scheduled for Sunday, February 5, but may be played a week later due to a clash with the National Colts Cup.