Serious injury forces game to be abandoned

St Albans on the attack

St Albans on the attack - Credit: Archant

A serious injury to St Albans’ prop Joe Frewin brought a premature end to a very enjoyable game of rugby.

Saints trailed 28-19 to Stevenage Town when Frewin collapsed to the ground.

The front row had hurt his neck in a scrum situation, with initial reports saying he “felt a click and some pain” as well as losing some strength in his arm.

An ambulance was called and after a long delay, and debate between the referee and both coaches, the match was abandoned.

There was an option to continue on an adjacent pitch but St Albans player-coach, Jeremy Walmsley, felt that player safety came first.

He said: “We felt it was already too dark on that pitch and in 20 minutes time it would have been worse.

“We were more than happy to stay on this pitch after the ambulance had arrived so we could play under lights.”

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What will be frustrating for Stevenage is the fact the game was stopped at 59 minutes and 25 seconds.

RFU rules state that if a game is abandoned for weather conditions after it passes the 60 minute mark, the result stands.

However, as this was for an injury, the final decision rests with the League Administration.

The game itself was a cracker.

Playing with a stiff wind at their backs, the visitors took the lead on four minutes through Joe Butcher before Ian Crompton extended it.

A yellow for Town gave Saints an edge, which they capitalised on when Daniel Satchell found space out wide but Crompton soon cancelled that out to restore Town’s advantage.

Sean Penny converted, as he did all afternoon, but hopes of a 16 point half-time lead were extinguished five minutes from the break when scrum-half Heemi Peina dummied his way over.

Mark Kentish converted to make the half-time score 21-12 and the gap was narrowed to just two when John Sayers crashed over.

Stevenage weren’t disheartened and hit back immediately through Daiyu Ishimori and they were threatening the line again when the game was stopped.

Walmsley said: “We were pleased with two tries against the wind and the score was a positive one going into the second half.

“I do think we would have come more into the game as the speed increased and I was positive we would create more opportunities.”

But he believes the club are moving in the right direction.

He added: “The second team are building because as a club more people are available and new people are joining. So it’s positive from that perspective.

“Even results which haven’t gone our way, we’ve been very close and it’s only small margins.”

A spokesman for the club said on Monday: “Joe seems to be OK.

“He was taken to Watford General Hospital where the doctors likened the injury to a whiplash scenario but apart from some “light-headedness” he seemed fine.

“He will be going for a further scan just to make sure there was no other damage.”