Stamford College Old Boys defeat Rugby Lions
Stamford College Old Boys continued their run of good form as they defeated Rugby Lions in a seven-try thriller on Saturday.
The College collected all five points after a 31-12 success in the match against their visitors at Welland Academy.
It means Old Boys have won three of their last four matches in Counties 3 Midlands East (South) ahead of the festive break.
Old Boys started at a quick pace as the College tackled hard to force a knock-on and quickly turned over the ball.
Minutes later, fly-half Haydn Johns chipped the ball over the Lions defence, gathered it himself, and stepped the full back to score an impressive solo try. Carl Brierley-Lewis slotted the extras and the Old Boys led 7-0 after just a couple of minutes.
With the College forwards dominating the scrum and lineout, they demonstrated some well structured play to work their way up the pitch until Rugby Lions eventually had a lineout just inside their 22.
The dominant College forward pack turned the ball over in the subsequent maul and fly-half Johns quickly distributed to centre Jamie Jenkins who crashed through the Rugby Lions midfield for a cool 20-metre run in to score the Old Boys' second of the afternoon.
Brierley-Lewis once again converted the extras, taking the score to 14-0.
Straight from the kick-off, Rugby Lions proved they weren't out of the game.
After some impressive hard running, the away side found a large overlap on the right side, which they swiftly exploited.
Moving the ball quickly through the hands of their backline, Lions' winger showed a burst of pace to get in behind the College defence, crossing the try line out wide but working his way to the posts to ensure an easier kick. The kick was converted making the score 14-7.
But the success was short-lived as the College proved their own ability to exploit space out wide.
The Stamford forwards dominated the Lions scrum in the middle of the park, which saw number-eight Callum Fraser break off, draw the Rugby defence before quickly moving the ball out wide.
This time it was Old Boys' speedster Harry Bell with the opportunity to show his pace and he sped down the wing to score in the corner. Unfortunately the conversion was missed but the College led 19-7.
Shortly after, another scum in the Rugby Lions half gave the Old Boys forwards an opportunity to show their set-piece dominance.
Off the base, scrum-half Flanders moved the ball to Johns, who carved his way through the Rugby Lions defence to score under the posts - his second try of the afternoon. The conversion was good and College led 26-7 at half-time.
With the harsh wind now in the face of the Old Boys, they knew it would be much harder to win the aerial territory battle in the second half.
The result was a much scrappier game, with both teams making impressive strides up and down the pitch - but the Old Boys set piece dominance proved the key differentiator, meaning the scoreboard remained mostly unchanged.
That was until the College had a scrum five metres out from the Rugby Lions try line.
The forwards once again stepped up, marching the Lions pack backwards, giving number-eight Fraser an easy opportunity to drop on the ball to score one of the simplest of his career. Unfortunately the conversion was missed, but the Old Boys extended their lead to 31-7.
Rugby Lions never gave up, getting their second score of the afternoon in the final play of the match.
After winning a breakdown penalty five metres from the Old Boys try line, a quick tap penalty saw one of the Lions forwards barrel through the tired defence to score. The conversion was missed and the final score was 31-12.
The College will be hoping to build on this momentum as they go into 2024 when they welcome Sileby Town to Welland Academy on January 6.