Stroud U14s chalk up another win over Cirencester
Still not firing on all cylinders but Stroud building up nicely for the big games
Fortress Fromehall was looking superb with dry conditions, bright blue skies, and acres of grass waiting for the U14’s to put on a good performance. Original opponents Tewkesbury had withdrawn at short notice so fixtures guru Chris worked his Rolodex and sourced Cirencester as able replacements. It was a big Cirencester pack waiting to try and repeat their victory of last year.
Forwards: Stoner, Orgy, Liam, Mr T, Lucas, Sauce, Euan, Keyan
Backs: Hilly, Will, Dave, Arthur, Josh, Fin, Alex
Subs: Darrion, Jed, Euan, Haydn, Tom, Flash, Joe, Nibbler (Callum, Ryan, Eddie - all present but injured)
Ciren kicked off and Fin ran the ball back. The game settled down with a few phases of rucks and mauls with Sauce leading the way with carries and clearouts. Euan won a good turnover which gave Keyan and Fin attacking chances down the right wing. Stroud had a lineout that Mr T won and the backs did a set move to the left with Josh eventually being forced out of play. Ciren won their lineout and kicked for touch and Stroud quickly won their lineout and set a rolling maul. The ball came out like a North Korean missile launch courtesy of Keyan, missed Japan, and landed close to Arthur who deftly defused the situation with a trademark pickup and run. Top Trumps ! A few phases later Stroud had a lineout that Lucas caught well and Hilly started another set move with a deft pass. Will then launched his own exocet pass that found its target in Frigate Fullback Alex. He was sunk in conjunction with a Ciren tackle but quick recycling gave crash ball to Battleship Liam and then out wide to Speedboat Dave who scored in the right corner. Will was unlucky to come up just short with his excellent conversion attempt.
Ciren kicked off and Liam ran it back. Mr T and Keyan also had some good runs. The forwards kept the ball in-house and fed a hungry Stoner who clattered down the right wing with some deft hand-offs. Wanting to give his kicker an easier conversion attempt he then proceeded to run it under the posts – via an unfortunate Ciren player who tried to tackle him in the dead ball area. Will missed the conversion – perhaps the earth tremors from another Korean missile launch dislodged the ball? 10-0 to the boys in blue….
Ciren kicked off again and Josh ran it back up the left wing and was bundled out of play in the Ciren 22. Ciren secured their lineout but Sauce made them pay with some big tackles. The ball was turned over and Will kicked for a gap but Ciren did very well to secure the ball with Dave closing in fast. The game was delayed while injuries were patched up by Delia and Euan volunteered to join Ciren as they were short of forwards.
The game restarted with a Ciren penalty kick and lineout that they won. Another turnover though at the hands of Orgy and Darrion gave Keyan a chance to attack and as he was closed down he passed to Dave who cut up the left wing, and somehow managed to avoid about 10 tackles and cut back inside to score under the posts. This time Will did the honours for a 17-0 lead.
Ciren kicked long and the game settled down with alternating scrums and lineouts with Ciren providing formidable opposition in the scrum phase, and Stroud showing great technique in the lineouts with accurate throwing and clean catching and passing by Jed, Lucas and Mr T. Ciren ended the half strongly with some good attacking possession and their speedy centre ran down the wing and threatened to score but last ditch tackling by Alex and Dave forced him out of play as the half time whistle went.
Half time: Stroud 17- 0 Cirencester
Strouds turn to kick off and a good kick chase put pressure on Ciren. Sauce again drove into the tackles and knocked Ciren back. Next move and it was Arthur with a strip tackle to set up an attacking move that was penalised at the resulting ruck. More scrums and runs as the teams traded possession was finished with some quick passing by Flash which released Dave to run down the right wing and then remember to cut back inside to touch down under the posts. Another good kick for a 24-0 lead.
Ciren kicked short this time but the ball went out so Stroud had a scrum on half way that they won. Keyan picked up the ball and burst through the defensive line and threatened to score but knocked on in the tackle when it seemed as if a try was inevitable. Ciren won the scrum and kicked for touch. Jedd won the Stroud lineout again and Will saw a gap and kicked for the right corner. A mass of players met in the corner to contest the ball and somehow Joe came out with it and scored in the corner. Another long conversion attempt just missed but the score was now 29-0.
The next phase of the game was highlighted with the newer players showing their attacking and defensive skills. Darrion and Nibbler had good runs. Haydn and Tom were competing well at the breakdown and putting in good tackles with Euan. Ciren were penned into their 22 and managed to kick to relieve the pressure. Alex was blinded by the sun but reacted well to catch the ball cleanly and run it back. Alternating rucks and mauls ended with a Stroud scrum that Keyan then launched an attack from and ran in another try under the posts. Another good kick and 36-0 lead.
The last passage of play was dominated by Ciren who showed great heart to keep attacking and pen Stroud back in their 22. Lineouts and scrums were well defended by Stroud but Ciren would not give in and kept charging back at the line. Just as Stroud thought they had done enough to keep a clean sheet Ciren did another tap penalty and forward attack and forced their way over the line. The kick was missed but Ciren fully deserved their try and made their trip back home a bit more enjoyable.
Full time: Stroud 36- 5 Cirencester
For the second week on the trot Stroud had scored 36 points. Can they repeat again next week away at Minch? Before the battle of the Five Valleys its Archway vs Marling on Wednesday to pit team-mate on team-mate – for both Stroud and Minch. At least Euan got plenty of practice with playing for Ciren against Stroud.