Stroud 57 - 15 Wells

Sean Moore reports 

A DISCIPLINED yet adventurous performance saw Stroud storm to victory against Wells at Fromehall Park on Saturday.

The hosts opened the scoring when their scrum won a ball against the head in their own 22.

Number eight Rob Higgins picked up and made lots of ground before the ball went out to Sam Hester who outpaced the cover to score near the posts for a try which he converted.

Kurtis Herbert, back from Australia but on his way to Clifton, breached the defence on several occasions with his powerful, direct running.

In the lineout young Ben Stephens had a very impressive game, regularly out leaping the Wells locks.

Following his take in the lineout, slick passing from the Stroud back-line gave Hester the overlap.

He drew the cover and passed to the supporting Jake Marsh who cruised in under the posts.

It was Stephens who initiated the next try when he stole a ball at the lineout.

This led to the backs using their skilful passing to create another overlap and good interplay saw Sykes released to go over in the corner. Hester, again, converted with a great kick to make it 21-5.

In the pack the powerful front row of Warner, Smith and Stratton were giving their opponents a torrid time and they won several balls against the head.

The two flankers, Fruin and Flanagan, impressed with their work rate and cast-iron tackling. Stroud’s efforts were dented a bit by the sin binning of first, Stratton and then, captain Joe Hoyle.

However, Stroud provided another scintillating try when Herbert and Marsh exchanged passes to dissect the Wells defence and Marsh, again, went over under the posts.

Marsh had a very impressive all round game making several clean breaks from the 10 position and doing his full quota of tackles in his defensive role.

Wells reduced the deficit with two tries following powerful forward rushes but Sykes increased the Stroud lead with a try in the corner just before half time, to leave the score at 31-10.

Stroud continued to dominate in the second half and following another lineout steal by Ben Stephens, a surging break by Herbert saw him offload to Hester who showed great pace to outstrip the defence and score in the corner. Again he added the extras.

Marsh then scored his second try after he and Sykes had followed up a good kick ahead and Marsh stripped the fullback of the ball to go over in the corner.

Jack Young scored the next try and he displayed great pace and determination throughout, Hester completed the scoring with yet another hat trick try.

This followed good approach work by Sykes and Marsh. Hester converted with a further impressive kick to give Stroud a 57-15 win.