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Stourbridge 1st XV - Match centre

Peterborough Lions
Sat 22 Sep 15:00 - RFU National - National 2 North Full time

Stour come out on top in our first fixture against a resilient but inexperienced 'Lions' side


This first encounter between the two teams saw the visitors dominate much of the game but not without a second half recovery from the ‘pride’! These two sides have never met before in either league or cup rugby so there was a sense of nerves...

This first encounter between the two teams saw the visitors dominate much of the game but not without a second half recovery from the ‘pride’!

These two sides have never met before in either league or cup rugby so there was a sense of nerves and respect shown during the first forays. Stour were missing their 4th Official Alan McCreadie and we hope his good lady Daphne will make a speedy recovery. Also missing were DoR Neil Mitchell and Wattbike guru Andy Tompkins. We hope their collective 'derrieres' will also make appropriate recoveries after their sojourn to gay Paris!

The journey went well and, in all fairness, Peterborough is just as accessible as many of our other opponents with a 107-mile travel and just 2.5 hours return time including three drop off points! Conditions were mainly dry but with rain falling just 2 minutes before kick off both sides needed decent studs on an uneven surface. As weather declines over the coming months, home advantage may well improve the ‘Lions’ results and we wish them well in their first season at this level!

Peterborough Lions 7 Stour 36 22-9-18
25 photos

The visitors fielded a few changes from last week’s win against Tynedale with the return of Nigel Mukarati but losing an injured Chad Thorne. We understand that commitments in South Wales meant a hasty journey and drive for two of our players but easier journeys for others who are based within an hour or so of Solstice Park which is SW of Peterborough!

The home side kicked of with a slight wind advantage but it would soon become clear that the more experienced team and players of Stourbridge would dictate play and territory. However, some chances went begging and it took 18 minutes for the visitors to score their first try!

New boys Adam Shaw and Nick Cairns showed why they had been recruited and both players made significant contributions and territorial gains throughout! Rickie Aley missed a tough 42 m penalty but, with momentum, Stour worked their way up field including a Nigel Mukarati steal, Aley chip and a quickly taken lineout was used by Nick Cairns. The ball was recycled and Rickie Aley saw some space out left. His chip kick to Joe Heatley was rewarded by a well-taken try by Joe and conversion by Aley.

It took just 2 minutes for Stour to score their second, this time by inspirational skipper Llyr Griffiths. A scrum on half way saw Adam Shaw make a superb break before being hauled down just 5 metres out. The ball was recycled to the right and Llyr dotted down for a 0-12 lead. At this point, an otherwise inactive rehydration assistant was seen to enter on to the field of play armed with nothing more than a mobile phone. At the time of going to press, we still do not know if he was checking in to home, pre ordering his first pint or ‘networking’ via social media!

Adam Shaw soon got his first half reward just 3 minutes later following some good work by Niall Gibbons and Nick Cairns, proving their worth as mobile back row players. Adam Shaw set of on a penetrating, jinking run, breaking several tackles and dotting down for Rickie Aley to add the extras and a 0-19 lead.

The visitors secured a Bonus Point 4th try on the half hour mark. The hosts had shown some resilience but a final pass had gone forward and Stour won the scrum penalty. Dan Rundle was held up over the line, shortly after but the powerful 5 m scrum saw Nick Cairns pick up and power over. Rickie Aley converted but the scoreboard remained static for the remainder of the half. 0-26 was, perhaps, a fair reflection.

Notwithstanding, the next 10 minutes saw some action from both sides, thwarted by a number of errors and penalties. Hal Riley and Adam Shaw were still asking questions of the home defence and Shaw’s 60 m break went unrewarded after a quick tap penalty.

However, the game seemed to make a subtle turn around half time when it started with industrious second row Nick Murphy seeing a Yellow Card seconds before 40 minutes. Peterborough failed to make touch with the penalty kick but some serious words and several changes during the break made for a lively period for them into the wind!

Down to 14 men, Stourbridge kicked off and were playing against an invigorated and amended home side that started to dominate territory and set pieces, in particular. Breaks by 15, Rory White, 18 Marius Andrijauskas and second row Tom Lewis caused some scrambled defence but the ‘Pink’ line held fast until referee Ieuan Davies lost patience again after a series of Stourbridge infringements. Sam Wilkes was the unlucky recipient and Stour were back down to 14 men for the second time. A Penalty Try giving the ‘Lions’ a window of opportunity with some end-to-end attacking followed this. It was Hal Riley who broke the pattern after a crunching tackle dispossessed Lions attack and he regathered loose ball, winning a penalty, in the process. Step up Rickie Aley for, possibly, the easiest kick of the afternoon and Stour were now leading by 7-26.

At this point, most teams may have submitted to defeat. Not so the Lions who came roaring back through Tom Lewis and Suva Maasi. However, the resolute Stour defence was enough to secure a result, which was cemented by a last minute try. It could have been more had it not been for a Mark Harrison intercept being called back from a free kick. Once again, Stourbridge repelled the attacks and a fortunate penalty enabled them to clear their line, eventually getting into the home side’s 22 m zone. Peterborough knocked on and Stour won the scrum ball. Rear ball came out to Dan Rundle, patrolling his left wing and, with 20 metres and 3 defenders to beat, his speed took him to beyond the try line for a neatly worked score and a simple conversion for replacement Chris Scott.

The final score was 7-36 and a BP win leaving the home side in basement position and Stourbridge up to 6th place on 15 points. Next week is a crucial encounter against top of the table Hinckley who have amassed 19 points in 4 games having beaten Tynedale, Wharfedale, Peterborough and Hull Ionians. They have scored 23 tries to our 16 and will provide tough opposition in our third home fixture.

Quilter Kids First Champions winner – March: Minehead Barbarians RFC

Videos and photos

Peterborough Lions 7 Stour 36 22-9-18
25 photos

Team selection

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League round up

Other National 2 North results

Preston Grasshoppers
Sedgley Park
Sheffield Tigers

League table

# Team Pl Pts
8. Otley 29 81
9. Hinckley 29 78
10. Stourbridge 28 75
11. Wharfedale 28 72
12. Leicester Lions 29 71
13. Sheffield Tigers 29 61
14. South Leicester 29 45

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