Stroud 49

Wells 5

THIS was an impressive win by a very committed Stroud side, writes Sean Moore.

Stroud started with attacking intent, but it took a while for their passing to be sorted out - they were trying too hard and tended to over elaborate. Kurtis Herbert calmed things down with a penalty goal, 3-0.

The Stroud pack were dominant in all aspects and increased the lead when a great catch by Ben Stephens, who soared above the lineout like the Shard, enabled the pack to set up a maul from which Phil Middlemiss scored in the corner. Kurtis Herbert converted with a great kick from the touchline, 10-0.

Regan Herbert then made the initial surge down the middle and fluent passing enabled his brother to register another try. He missed a conversion but landed a penalty shortly afterwards, 18-0. Following another lineout steal by Ben Stephens a rolling maul developed before the ball went out. Kurtis Herbert took the pass on the burst to slice clean through the Wells defence. He also converted, 25-0.

After the break Sam Leworthy finished in some style following multiple phases in which Regan Herbert was very prominent. The try was converted, 32-0. Wells were creaking at this stage but, to their credit, never gave up. Pete Sykes was next to score. Showing electric speed and a sumptuous swerve he left two defenders for dead in a blistering fifty-metre run to the corner, 37-0. The forwards were now going through their various ploys and played a well-organized and committed game, rarely surrendering possession and displaying cast iron tackling around the fringes. Bob Reid relished the opportunity to attack and was particularly effective at restarts.

At the sixty minute stage subs Sam Davies and Jordan Phipps came on and made an immediate impact, Sam with his tigerish tackling and Jordan with his jagged, incisive running. It was Jordan’s break in the centre that led to Kurtis Herbert scoring again and also converting, 42-0.

The influential no.9, Joe Hoyle, athletically supported Kurtis Herbert on one of his breaks down the middle and, taking the ball on the halfway, galloped fifty metres to score under the posts. Herbert converted, 49-0.

To great applause Wells opened their account just before the end with a drive over the line, 49-5. Stroud can feel very satisfied with their efforts and all this and more will be needed next Saturday at Avonmouth.