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1XV - Match centre

Sat 4 Nov 14:30 - South West Division - Tribute Western Counties North Full time

Great Attacking Rugby Sinks Wells

An excellent team effort

An excellent team effort by a disciplined but adventurous Stroud side provided perfect Saturday afternoon entertainment at Fromehall Park writes Sean Moore.

Stroud opened the scoring when their scrum won a ball against the head in their own 22. Rob Higgins at no 8 picked up and made lots of ground before the ball went out to Sam Hester who outpaced the cover to score near the posts for a try which he converted, 7-0. Kurtis Herbert, back from Australia but on his way to Clifton, breached the defence on several occasions with his powerful, direct running. In the lineout young Ben Stephens had a very impressive game. From his take in the lineout slick passing gave Hester the overlap. He drew the cover and passed to the supporting Jake Marsh who cruised in under the posts, 14-0. It was Stephens who initiated the next try when he stole lineout ball. This led to the threes using their skillful passing to create another overlap and good interpassing saw Sykes released to go over in the corner. Hester, again, converted with a great kick, 21-5.

In the pack the powerful front row of Warner, Smith and Stratton were giving their opponents a torrid time and they won several balls against the head. The two flankers, Fruin and Flanagan, impressed with their work rate and cast-iron tackling. Stroud’s efforts were dented a bit by the sin binning of first, Josh Stratton and then, captain Joe Hoyle. However, Stroud provided another scintillating try when Herbert and Marsh exchanged passes to dissect the Wells defence and Marsh, again, went over under the posts, 26-5. Jake Marsh had a very impressive all round game making several clean breaks from the 10 position and doing his full quota of tackles in his defensive role. Wells reduced the deficit with two tries following powerful forward rushes but Sykes increased the Stroud lead with a try in the corner just before half time, 31-10.

Following another lineout steal by Ben Stephens, a surging break by Herbert saw him offload to Hester who showed great pace to outstrip the defence and score in the corner. Again, he converted in style, 38-10. Jake Marsh then scored his second try after he and Pete Sykes had followed up a good kick ahead and Marsh stripped the fullback of the ball to go over in the corner, 43-15. Jack Young scored the next try and he displayed great pace and determination throughout, 50-15. Sam Hester completed the scoring with yet another hat trick try. This followed good approach work by Sykes and Marsh. Hester converted with a further impressive kick, 57-15.

This was by far the best performance of the season from Stroud with their pack showing power and dominance and this allowed Stroud’s skillful backs, astutely marshalled by captain Doyle, to run riot.

OMW Skills Series: Evasion

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League table

# Team Pl Pts
8. Wells 21 50
9. Winscombe 21 50
10. Stroud 21 49
11. Cheltenham 21 42
12. Yatton 22 39
13. Bristol Saracens 22 39
14. Oldfield Old Boys 22 31

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