Stevenage thrash St Albans
Stevenage Town 53 St Albans 10 Stevenage Town are one game away from making it a hat-trick of appearances in the final of the Herts Presidents Cup. This is after a demolition job on a spirited St Albans side who enjoyed long periods of possession and pre
Stevenage Town 53 St Albans 10
Stevenage Town are one game away from making it a hat-trick of appearances in the final of the Herts Presidents' Cup.
This is after a demolition job on a spirited St Albans side who enjoyed long periods of possession and pressure on the Stevenage defence from which they came away with only two second-half tries.
Stags, on the other hand, were solid in defence, devastating in attack and clinical in their finishing which was rewarded with eight well-worked tries.
Saints started the brighter of the two teams and had all the early possession.
They had two unsuccessful penalty attempts and it was 15 minutes before Stevenage posed their first threat with a penalty of their own which was converted by winger Kyle Lemon.
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Four minutes later, Town scored their first try when Lemon put in a cross kick from midfield following excellent work at a lineout by Tavita Faamausili and Gareth Roberts. The kick was gathered by opposite winger Ian Crompton to score in the corner.
Crompton added a second try seven minutes later when he was put into space but still had plenty to do to pass the cover defence and score under the posts. The conversion was added by Gareth Lewis.
St Albans continued to press and Stevenage showed great resilience in defence with Roberts in particular persistently disrupting the St Albans possession.
With five minutes to go before the interval, Town extended their lead when fly-half Michael Wilson carved through the visitors' defence after another period of forward domination. Lewis landed the conversion.
The home team put the game out of reach of St Albans with a fourth try before half time.
This time a poor clearance went straight to Lemon, 30 yards out, who proceeded to glide through the defence to score a fine individual try under the posts.
Lewis added the conversion to make the half-time score 29-0 in a half in which St Albans had at least an equal share of the possession.
The second half followed a similar pattern to the first as this time St Albans had most of the possession and all of the territory for the first 20 minutes.
It took 20 minutes into the half for Stevenage to cross the halfway line and amazingly they scored when Lewis intercepted and ran in from 45 yards before he converted his own try to extend the lead.
Two minutes later, St Albans were eventually rewarded with a well-worked try in the corner and they followed this up five minutes later with a second score.
Any hint of a St Albans comeback was quickly repelled when Crompton, who had moved to scrum-half, scored an outstanding try to round off an excellent hat-trick.
Gathering the ball from a ruck in centre field inside his own half, he beat two defenders wide on the left before jinking through four covering defenders to score a memorable try under the posts. Lewis added the conversion.
With five minutes to go, Crompton was again in the thick of the action as he broke from well inside the Stevenage half and passed to Lemon who capped off a fine performance by finishing from 50 yards out.
In stoppage time, Roberts completed the scoring against a shellshocked St Albans by running in a try from his own 22 to round off an excellent afternoon's work.
Coach Terry Penny was understandably delighted with his team's performance, especially that of the backs.
This was a day when attack took the plaudits and Town would also have been well satisfied with their defensive work where the back row of Roberts, Phil Pearson and Marc Dyer, along with Rob Carter coming on as a second-half replacement, worked hard to snuff out the St Albans threat.
Stevenage return to league action this Saturday when they entertain London New Zealand.
The exiled Kiwis are currently third in the league and looking to secure at least a play-off place.