Bristol Saracens 7

Stroud 41

STROUD continued their unbeaten record with a comprehensive victory over a spirited Bristol side, writes Sean Moore.

They were dominant up front, particularly in the scrums, and the backs played some exciting rugby. Had their passing and decision-making been a little slicker the score would have been even higher.

Strong running by Sam Leworthy, Phipps and Hendry gave early indications of Stroud’s potential and the first try came when Hendry barged over following some quick passing. The next score resulted from a massive surge at a scrum which enabled Middlemiss to pick up and go over. Herbert converted both tries, 0-14.

The Stroud pack were playing well as a unit, with hard yards being gained by the forceful running of Smith and Stratton. Sam Leworthy, playing on the wing, impressed with his deceptively strong running and he made light work of the opposition with his power. Following his fabulous match-winning try last week, he was playing brimful of confidence. He was the next to score when he went over following slick passing by Jake Marsh who, together with fellow half-back Joe Ashenford, provided an excellent link between the backs and the forwards, 0-19.

Pete Sykes showed some adventurous running with his sidestepping and he set up Gordon and Herbert who continued the move which ended with Sykes receiving the final pass and scoring, 0-24. Sykes scored again shortly afterwards when he followed up a chip ahead by Joe Ashenford, 0-29. Before the break Saracens laid siege to the Stroud line for some five minutes but the Stroud defence proved impregnable.

After half-time a leg-pumping run by Leworthy tore a hole in the Saracens defence and Phipps initiated some dynamic counter-attacking. Matt Hunt showed his fitness and speed by sprinting some thirty metres to go over, 0-34. Leworthy was now appearing all over the field, relishing his passport to roam, and fittingly scored the final try. He received the ball near the touch, beat the first two defenders with his speed, and then dived over in the corner below some attempted tackles. Herbert converted, 0-41.

Saracens showed their spirit by registering a late try, 7-41. All in all, a confident win by an organised and committed Stroud outfit who are at home next week against Midsomer Norton.