First half cost Stroud
Second half shows the real stroud
From the kick off Stroud started in a lively fashion but poor tackling saw Cheltenham score two tries in the first six minutes (Cheltenham 14 Stroud 0).
The game then settled down with both sides trying to play open rugby but in the 30th minute a Cheltenham scrum in the Stroud 22 saw them run in unopposed under the posts (Cheltenham 21 Stroud 0). Another try by Cheltenham was scored soon after (Cheltenham 28 Stroud 0). The first half ended with another Cheltenham try when the ball went forward but off a Cheltenham player’s knee, the subsequent conversion was missed (Cheltenham 33 Stroud 0).
The second half was a different story with Stroud playing with much more intent, knowing that a losing bonus point could still be achieved. Initially this wasn’t obvious with Cheltenham starting in a lively fashion culminating in another try wide out which was converted (Cheltenham 40 Stroud 0).
Stroud then started to make inroads and after a persistent passage of play Sam Hester scored in the corner, the subsequent conversion being missed (Cheltenham 40 Stroud 5).
This gave Stroud some encouragement and a breakaway from their own 22 by Jake Marsh followed by and inside pass to Jo Hoyle saw him score under the posts with the conversion made (Cheltenham 40 Stroud 12).
Stroud continued to try and play open rugby but a mistake in their own 22 saw the ball turned over and Cheltenham score another try which was converted (Cheltenham 47 Stroud 12).
The next passage of play saw Stroud pressurising the Cheltenham line for a period of time and strong running by Jake Marsh saw him slice through the Cheltenham defence to score under the posts and the conversion points were taken (Cheltenham 47 Stroud 19).
Again after a breakout by Stroud from their own 22, clever play by Jake Marsh saw him chip over the top to be gathered by Carl Ranscombe, who had a positive influence on the game when he came on, and after a series of passes Pete Sykes scored in the corner. The conversion was missed (Cheltenham 47 Stroud 24).
The game ended with Cheltenham scoring two unconverted tries wide out (Cheltenham 57 Stroud 24), but Stroud achieved their objective of a bonus point and were able to say they drew the second half. The team do not need telling that their defence needs to be greatly improved if they are to progress in this league and above.