Stags bounce back from cup defeat with emphatic win
Stevenage Town 29 Twickenham 7 Stevenage Town recorded another emphatic win to maintain their 100 per cent league record. Stags, sponsored by Hill Residential, bounced back from their only defeat of the season the previous week in the EDF Energy Senior Va
Stevenage Town 29 Twickenham 7
Stevenage Town recorded another emphatic win to maintain their 100 per cent league record.
Stags, sponsored by Hill Residential, bounced back from their only defeat of the season the previous week in the EDF Energy Senior Vase.
This was the sixth consecutive game that Town had played in muddy conditions and persistent rain.
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This time they used the conditions to their advantage with a series of kicks behind the Twickenham backs, which had them turning, retreating and having to battle their way out of defence.
Twickenham's pack was given a torrid time by the home team in the set scrums, where they were frequently running backwards.
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Such was the pressure on the Twickenham scrum that two of Stevenage's five tries came from penalty tries.
It took the home team only seven minutes to open their account.
Good work by fly-half Michael Wilson led to number eight Phil Pearson scoring in the corner.
Full-back Kyle Lemon added the conversion.
The league leaders continued to press for the remainder of the half and gradually got the better of the conditions as they became more dominant in the forward exchanges.
It was not until added time at the end of the half that Stevenage managed to score their second try.
Flanker Rob Carter put in a tackle just inside the Stevenage half resulting in the ball going loose.
This was picked up by Iain Penny who put in a quick pass to Ian Crompton who ran the ball into the corner. Stevenage led at half time by 12 points to nil.
Twickenham came out strongly at the beginning of the second half and soon got themselves back into the game when they scored a good try, having worked an overlap. The try was converted.
Unfortunately for the visitors, they were unable to build on this and Stevenage took control of the game at that point and never relinquished it.
Town extended their lead after 55 minutes when prop Barry Cook scored his fifth try of the season after a period of sustained pressure on the Twickenham line.
The first of the two penalty tries came five minutes later with number eight Pearson feeling denied an inevitable try by the referee's early intervention.
Lemon kicked the conversion to put Stevenage in front 24-7.
In the final 20 minutes, Town gave a disciplined performance and played the conditions expertly.
The forwards were in control and the backs used the ball intelligently, keeping the pressure on the visitors.
Although they did not add to their total until the final minutes, they were completely in control of the game and closed it out without offering Twickenham any further scoring opportunities.
Even when centre Kris Foskett followed two earlier Twickenham players into the sin bin, there was no way through the home defence.
The scoring was completed just before the end when the referee awarded Town a second penalty try after another dynamic surge by the home forwards.
Coach Terry Penny said that he was thrilled that his team maintained their 100 per cent league record - making it 14 wins out of 14 - and added that the forwards were excellent.
This was true and it was also a day when the backs made a difference.
Town travel to Hammersmith and Fulham this Saturday in their continued pursuit of the league title.