Andrews returns to haunt his former side
Stevenage Town 17 Dorking 22 Stevenage Town went out of the EDF Energy Intermediate Cup against high-flying Dorking. The visitors, currently unbeaten and top of the London Two South, are coached by former Stags player Richard Andrews who went on to a long
Stevenage Town 17 Dorking 22
Stevenage Town went out of the EDF Energy Intermediate Cup against high-flying Dorking.
The visitors, currently unbeaten and top of the London Two South, are coached by former Stags player Richard Andrews who went on to a long and successful career at Saracens.
Dorking arrived at North Road full of confidence having already defeated Town by 28 points in a pre-season friendly. But Stevenage certainly gave them a run for their money and eventually Dorking were relieved to come away with their unbeaten record intact.
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This was a good performance by Stags as they had the better of the forward exchanges, constantly disrupting Dorking's scrummage ball, and using their own possession to better effect than in recent weeks.
The opening quarter was dominated by errors and penalties on both sides. Dorking, playing up the slope but with a significant wind in their favour, failed to make the most of that advantage despite having the better of the game territorially.
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Dorking opened the scoring in the 24th minute when prop Liebenberg went over from a rolling maul following a lineout close to the Stevenage try line.
This was followed up nine minutes later by an excellent try from second row Kruis, after a move involving several forwards and an equal number of phases of play. The try was converted by Kemp.
Town deservedly got back into the game just before half time with an excellent try of their own.
A high kick was not initially cleared up just on the Town 22m line, but the ball was recycled and carried forward by captain Neil Bamber who fed Ian Crompton to make a decisive break.
Crompton put Michael Wilson away in space and then followed up to take the return pass and run in the try. Kyle Lemon converted to make the half-time score 12-7.
Dorking started the second half strongly but it was Stevenage that scored next.
From a scrum inside the home 22, Crompton broke to halfway before being caught and from the subsequent ruck, Gareth Lewis made further ground before releasing Lemon to score another fine try to level the score.
Stevenage made better use of the windy conditions with a number of ranging kicks deep into the corners of the Dorking 22. It was from a poor Dorking lineout following such a kick that Town took the lead when hooker Tavita Faamausili took advantage to score.
Having fallen behind, it was Dorking's turn to work hard to get back into the game.
Stags looked resolute in defence with Gareth Roberts and Peter Smith both putting in a series of quality tackles and they used the wind to good effect to clear any danger from the visitors.
Dorking reduced the arrears with a penalty in the 65th minute to set up an exciting final 15 minutes.
With 10 minutes to go, Dorking took the lead again when replacement centre Williams was allowed to collect a kick ahead and make at least 50m before the ball eventually reached back row Roux to run in and score under the posts.
The conversion gave Dorking a five-point lead and completed the scoring for the afternoon.
Town worked hard to get back on even terms but the final 10 minutes was noteworthy only for both hookers ending up in the sin bin from two separate incidents.
Other score: Stevenage Town III 7 Fullerians III 17.