Swans Match Report
|Bracknell 31||Staines 37|
Saturday 10th March 2012
National League 3 London & SE
National League 3 London & SE
"Swans on the brink beat Bracknell"
Coming from 31-20 down midway through the second half and down to 13 players Staines Swans showed a character and desire that made head coach Greg Knights a very proud man.
The game started well for the Swans, coming from 3-0 down. Former London Wasps player Chris Bishay rounded off a good phase of play, touching down over the goal line after some excellent work from the set piece, with Chris Wells adding the extras. Bracknell responded well, sending wing Stuart Mackay over to score for the home side.
If not for the brave tackling of full back James Cornish, Staines could of fallen further behind.
Chris Wells again added to his tally this season calmly dissecting the uprights, to keep the game tied at 10-10. Again Bracknell could not stay on their feet at the break down and leave the ball to be played.
Staines had all the play coming down the slope, but just not quite having the accuracy at times to finish off some very strong play. The pressure of the game and the constant infringement from the Bracknell forwards finally tested referee David Parsons patience, on the 34th minute he no choice in producing his first yellow card of the day to the Bracknell back row Halotti Molitika.
Chris West bringing James Robinson into play from the set piece.
The advantage was clearly with the away team as Chris wells rounded of a good passage of play as the half was coming to the end. Breaking the gain line running hard eluding tackles he managed to ground the ball next to the uprights, which he duly converted.
With Staines heading down into the changing rooms 17-10 ahead, they knew this game was far from won.
Chris Wells scoring his try.
Playing down the hill Bracknell attacked hard with a real sense of purpose from the restart, immediately putting pressure on the Swans receivers. This led to the home side second row Charlie Davy finding himself in acres of space out wide only with the sole task of putting the ball down over the line. With Nowak missing the kick and the scores level, Staines knew they needed to keep their nerve. Chris Wells slotted a vital penalty soon after to calm some nerves. Unfortunately at the next phase of play Referee Parsons had deemed rampaging Swans Back row John Kinnell had infringed at the break down and produced another yellow card. Things got a lot worse for Staines. From the resulting penalty, Bracknell now back to full strength drove hard from the line out allowing full back Neil Higgins to charge over to score a vital try for the home side. The home crowd started to get behind their side as the score changed in their favour to 24-20. Greg Knights was soon kicking the ground and looking into an air of despair as Swans impressive prop Matt Newman was yellow carded for “coming in from the side” as Bracknell were trying to get hold of a game they needed to win. Again the home side kicked into the corner and drove for the line of the resulting line out. Staines forwards fought hard to thwart the initial danger. Alas numbers out wide beat them, with Bracknell center Steve Bryant cruising throw to score. Down to 13 men playing up the hill 31-20 down, captain Tom Cleary calmed and reassured his players. "To be patient, urgency and composure" being the message. Back to 14 players, Staines where awarded a penalty after ref Parsons again produced his 4th yellow of the day. This time it was for the Bracknell No 9 and former Staines player Ap Daffyd. With Kinnell taking the ball high in the line out, Tom Cleary drove hard and low with the ball in hand to register and earthquake of a try. Wells stepped up coolly claiming the extras. Taking the scores to 27-31, with 15 mins to play. Staines were now looking the like a team, "where losing was not an option". The freshly introduced Mark Cornell who duly flattened his opposite number, snubbing out another Bracknell attack, emphasized this. From a clever line out just inside the Bracknell half Andy Regan created a moment of magic to send wing Jon Webber over for his 2nd try in as many weeks and the Swans a much deserved bonus point. With the forever reliable Wells adding the extras, it was all about keeping the ball as well as their heads.
The team celebrating Tom Cleary’s try
Unlike Bracknell who lost fly half Pucs Ngapaku to the sin bin, again not "staying on his feet" at the break down. Leaving the unflappable Wells the formality of kicking the penalty to seal a great day for the Staines Swans and a 37-31 victory.
Bracknell 31 (10)
Tries: ; S Bryant, N Higgins, S Mackey, C Davy
Conversions: B Nowak 4
Penalties: B Nowak
Staines Swans 37 (15)
Tries: C Bishay, C Wells, T Cleary, J Webber
Conversions: C Wells 4
Penalties: C Wells 3
STAINES SWANS were:
J Cornish, L Pruce, C Bishay, C Wells, J Webber, S Flynn, A Regan, J Robinson, K Cox, L Shanahan, M Newman, K Boyd, T Cleary (capt), J Kinnell, T Miklausic, C West, R Bachour, M Cornell.
Staines Swans next home game is against league leaders Canterbury on the 24th March.