Herbert Keeps Cool to Score Winning Points
By joshua stratton
This was a hugely entertaining, close match played in the best of spirits, in ideal playing conditions
This was a hugely entertaining, close match played in the best of spirits, in ideal playing conditions. Stroud were led by Dan Smith who captained through example writes Sean Moore. Smith was part of a destructive front row, together with Josh Stratton and Sam Davies who is adapting quickly to the demands of first team rugby. Powerful scrummaging was a key feature in helping Stroud to claim ascendancy.
Gordano took an early lead when they intercepted following loose passing by Stroud, 0-7. Stroud regrouped and after prolonged pressure the pack produced good ball enabling Jake Marsh to make a clean break down the middle and this led to Pete Sykes scoring an excellent try in the corner, 5-7. Phil Middlemiss was having a strong game making hard yards from the back of the scrum and flanker Tom Flanagan was making himself a nuisance with his non-stop appetite for tackling and securing loose ball.
Next, Kurtis Herbert made a long break out of defence combining well with Sam Hester. An attacking lineout, well-taken by Ben Stephens, led to a long break by Sam Leworthy, enabling Jake Marsh to go over for a try, converted by Kurtis Herbert, 12-7.
Shortly afterwards, Pete Sykes got another excellent try in the corner, finishing off smooth interpassing and support play, 17-7. Stroud were now in the driving seat and powerful forward play, again, led to the backs enabling Sykes to score his hat trick in the corner, 22-7. Gordano fought back to score a good try just before the break, 22-12.
Following the interval Stroud increased their lead when the impressive Reagan Herbert finished off a strong forward drive, converted by his brother, 29-12. A seasoned bench of Hoyle, Fruin and Reid came on but Gordano whittled the lead with a converted try, 29-19. Following a long, bullocking run by Reagan Herbert Stroud seemed certain to score but a loose pass was snaffled by the Gordano winger who ran 90 metres to score under the posts, 29-26.
The tension was mounting after Gordano scored following an attacking lineout and drive, 29-31. Stroud were shocked but vociferous support and advice from the touch line spurred them on. Herbert was close to winning the match but his kick just missed. Shortly afterwards, he weathered the tension to cooly split the uprights with his last gasp kick, 32-31.
Pete Sykes, with his well-taken hat trick, was man of the match but the whole team deserve plaudits. This puts them in good spirits for next week’s Matson fixture.