Swans Match Report
|Staines 19||Westcliff 10|
Saturday 20th April 2012
National League 3 London & SE
National League 3 London & SE
"Swans win three in a row for final flourish"
Staines Swans won 3 games in a row for the first time this season to finish a commendable 8th in National league 3 south. Having already beaten London Irish and Luton in the previous weeks, Head coach Greg Knights knew that this was still to be a stern test at the end of a long season.
Westcliff were coming to the Reeves trying to reverse the 46-15 defeat on the first day of the season, plus a win would have leap frogged them above Staines in the league.
With backs Coach Rich Mahony having to make a late change, bringing in Will Samuels for center Chris Wells. Wells had to drop out in the warm up due to a calf injury. The nerves were soon settled, when on the 8th min Wasp Academy full back Oliver Foster broke free from a well judge pass by James Cornish. Still with 50m to go Foster made light work of the Westcliff defence, to score his first Swans try.
Oliver Foster asking questions of the Westcliff defence.
At 5-0 Staines were still having to work hard to keep a very determined Essex side from causing an upset at the Reeves. Chris West was having a massive game carrying aggressively from the set piece, causing all sorts of problems in the Westcliff backline.
Staines allowed Westcliff back into the game by giving away needless penalties at the break down. This is always a bad thing, especially when the opposition has the 3rd highest point scorer in the league with Ben McKeith kicking. Lucky enough Staines only gave McKeith one real chance to kick at the posts in the first half. From which McKeith claimed another 3 points to add to his tally for the season.
Referee Simon Dodds patience was finally tested and he produced the yellow card to Staines Hooker Liam Shanahan. Just before half time.
Down to 14 players Head coach Greg Knights knew the half time team talk was crucial to finish the season off on a high. Staines started the second period with a good breeze behind their backs, looking to keep their advantage. It was Westcliff who got the initial upper hand, when fly half Ben Jones broke the tackle line to send full back Dudman in to gain the lead. McKeith duly added the extras.
Urged on by a good crowd around the pitch, Staines grew in confidence and where rewarded half way through the second half. Just inside the away teams 22m, John Kinnell took and drove the line out in the heart of the Westcliff forwards. With fly half Andy Regan calling for the quick ball, sensing the advantage out wide for Wing Lewis Pruce to score his 9th try of the season. James Cornish adding the 2 points, giving Staines a deserved 12-10 lead.
Lewis Pruce attacking supported by the impressive open side, Gus Jones.
The Swans where now looking like a team were losing was not an option. Wing Jon Webber coming close, to scoring only to be thwarted by a last ditched tackle from his opposite number. This kind of determination was typified with just 10 mins left to play. From a quick and clever piece of rugby, Chris West drove for the line. Scrum half James Robinson snapped the ball to Captain Tom Cleary. Finding himself in some space, he raced over to touch down brushing away the Westcliff attempts to tackle him. Staines center Cornish dissecting the uprights to give the Swans an unassailable lead.
Referee Dodds signing Capt Tom Cleary’s try. Chris West just getting back to his feet.
The game was coming to an end, but Staines were still having to work hard. The dynamic England U18 open side Gus Jones chasing back to stop a certain try from the Westcliff attacking line exemplified this. Jason Lee clearing the ball to touch, ref Dodds blew his whistle on another season of league rugby at the Reeves.
Staines first team squad and the players from the mini section of Staines RFC.
Staines 19 (5)
Tries: ; O Foster, L Pruce, T Cleary
Conversions: J Cornish 2
Westcliff 10 (3)
Tries: C Dudman
Conversions: B McKeith
Penalties: B McKeith
STAINES SWANS were:
O Foster, L Pruce, J Cornish, W Samuels, A Regan, J Webber, J Robinson, D Walsh, L Shanahan, M Newman, Capt Tom Cleary, J Kinnell, M Cornell, G Jones, C West, R Bachour Danny Edbrooke, J Lee.
National League 3 London & South East Final Table 2011-2012.
I would like to say a big thank you to Bob Lawless, Geraint Padgen, Gil Coulson, John Sutch, Angie Channon, Richard Godden and the U16 team plus to many more fantastic people who give valuable time and effort to Staines Rugby Club this season. Also to our sponsors, supporters and friends who make the game of rugby the special game that it is.