Joy of six for resurgent Stags
Harpenden 5 Stevenage Town 38 RELEGATION fears are rapidly becoming a distant memory for Stags after this latest victory. Six tries, six league and cup wins in a row and now sixth place in the league – there is a symmetry only matched by the quality of ba
Harpenden 5 Stevenage Town 38
RELEGATION fears are rapidly becoming a distant memory for Stags after this latest victory.
Six tries, six league and cup wins in a row and now sixth place in the league - there is a symmetry only matched by the quality of back play demonstrated in this London Three North West encounter.
Harpenden, also needing to win this game to fight their way out of the relegation zone, were given no opportunity by a Stags side that are finally showing the ability and self-belief that has been lurking below the surface all season.
Having matched the hosts in the opening skirmishes, and following some rugged defending, the ball was worked wide to winger Ian Crompton, who evaded three defenders to score in the corner in the sixth minute.
Following more sustained pressure from Stags, the home side number eight picked up from the base of his scrum five metres out, only to be met by the vast frame of Barry Cook who ripped possession and forced his way over under the posts for his first league try this season.
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Stags had to wait until just before half time to add to the score.
Another Harpenden attack was stopped in its tracks by a strong tackle from Gareth Roberts. Michael Wilson pounced on the ball and ran 70 yards to score under the posts.
This knocked some more heart out of the home side and gave Stags a 19-point lead at half time.
Injuries then forced changes, with scrum-half Gareth Wall having to give way at half time.
Despite this, Stags played some mercurial rugby with Greg Salisbury making a devastating angle to finish off the best handling move of the match.
Midway through the half, some more quick hands from Alex Willcox resulted in Wilson scoring his second try, this time in the corner.
Harpenden's forwards continued to drive against the Stags midfield, and were rewarded when from a Stags scrum, they forced their only try from a defensive error.
Stags came back from the restart to camp in the Harpenden 22, and in the last minute Gareth Lewis forced his way through to score a try, also ending the day with four conversions.