Stroud Glos Premier: Stroud 37 Tewkesbury 12
LEVI Smith inspired Stroud to a comfortable win against plucky opposition and demonstrated again their developing abilities to play good pressure rugby and keep mistakes to a minimum, writes Sean Moore.
The opening score was an excellent try by Sam Leeworthy - the culmination of good interplay by forwards and backs.
The try was unconverted, 5 - 0. Stroud's adventurous play was impeded when a long pass by Dan Gordon was intercepted and resulted in a Tewkesbury try under the post, 5 - 7.
Smith impressed throughout with strong running from the base of the scrum and it usually took two or three tackles to bring him down. One led to a penalty which Peter Sykes converted.
Stroud increased their lead when Sam Viggers crossed after incisive running by the threes, 13 - 7. The third try was gained by Josh Stratton, being driven over by a dominant pack who tackled all aspects of the game in a competent fashion, 18 - 7.
After the break Stroud continued in a similar vein, putting considerable pressure on the visiting pack in a series of five-metre scrums.
This led to Smith being very close on three occasions and the inevitable try was gained by Sam Viggers who jinked and powered his way under the posts. Craig Jones converted, 25 - 7.
Stroud demonstrated their strength in depth off the bench and there is keen competition for places in the starting line-up.
Sub, Chris Jones, made several long, telling breaks and set up many good attacking positions. Josh Stratton gained his second try following further forward pressure and nearly gained a third after an impressive surge down the middle, showing good ball skills and evidence of increased pace, 30 - 12.
The final score was a superlative try by Dan Gordon who dummied and accelerated through a gap to score under the posts for a try which Craig Jones converted. This was overall a very encouraging display: the scrum is solid and young Phil Fruin has a bright future in the front row.
The forwards are increasingly dominant and pose threats to the opposition from scrum positions.
STROUD travel to St Mary's on Saturday.