Soft try cost stroud
On a hot and sunny afternoon in early September Stroud opened their 2017/18 campaign away to Chew Valley.
After 5 minutes play Stroud won their own scrum and attempted to move out of their 22 but a miss timed pass saw the ball go to ground, only to be pounced upon by Chew Valley winger Oakley Cox who ran in for a try under the post. The subsequent conversion kick by Joe Cowell was successful, Chew Valley 7 Stroud 0. After 10 mins Stroud were awarded a penalty just inside the Chew Valley half, and given the straightness of the kick and the perfect weather conditions Sam Hester opted to kick for goal and was rewarded by seeing the ball sale through the posts, Chew Valley 7 Stroud 3.
After 18 minutes a good line out take by Chew on Stroud’s 5 yard line and an efficient driving maul saw Tom Waddington go over for the first of his two tries. The subsequent conversion kick was missed, Chew Valley 12 Stroud 3.
In the second half and after a number of exchanges a driving maul by Stroud ended with Sam Hester going over wide out on the right hand side. The subsequent conversion was missed , Chew Valley 12 Stroud 8. After 63 minutes again after a driving maul following a shortened line out, this time by Chew, Tom Waddington went over for the second of his tries. The conversion was missed, Chew Valley 17 Stroud 8. After a lineout on Stroud’s 22 and with 10 minutes left on the clock outside half Dan Gatton made a decisive break down the middle of the pitch and put centre Charles Shallcross in with a short inside pass. The subsequent conversion was successful, Chew Valley 24 Stroud 8. When Stroud used their big men close to the breakdown they threatened but poor handling let them down on several occasions. When the ball stuck prop Dan Smith scored a try as some consolation close to the end. The subsequent conversion was missed and the final score was Chew Valley 24 Stroud 13.
There was definitely room for improvement, but Stroud could take a number of positives from the game and look forward to a home match against Chosen Hill next Saturday.