Swans Match Report
Saturday 15th October 2011
National League 3 London & SE
Staines Swans got their League campaign back on track with a hard fought win in Hampshire against struggling Havant.
With new prop Tom Jones recently signed from London Scottish taking the field for his debut the team looked stronger and more dynamic in the set piece.
With only 3 minutes on the clock referee Andrea Ttosa had no alternative but to award Staines a penalty, with Havant offside at the contact area. Chris Wells stepped up to gain a 3-0 advantage to the away team.
This gave the Swans the impudence to take the game to Havant. Jack Crehan on the right wing finished of a superb back line attack to score from 40 meters out under the post. Center Chris Wells stepped up to convert the try to increase the lead to 10-0.
This was to be one of Wells last actions, as he was to be replaced by Shane Brady on the 15 min mark due to injury.
Staines were now pressing for that all important next score. Havant dug deep in defence with their back line tackling any thing in a Red shirt and with Havant prop Sam Cutting disrupting at the scrum.
In the end, the pressure from the Staines forward unit was too much for the resilient home defence with Chris West powering over in the corner from a scrum to score in the corner.
This took Staines into the half time break with a comfortable 15-0 lead.
Head Coach Greg Knights words at half time worked wonders as Staines started the second half with a bang. With the front row linking well in the back line, that almost sent Jack Crehan into the corner with only 2 mins on the clock.
From the resulting line out, Capt Tom Cleary took the unopposed advantage and drove hard for the line. Supported by his forwards, were eventually Chris West came up with the ball over the white wash to record his second try of the game.
This should off open the floodgates for the away side, but rugby is a funny game. With Havant having nothing to loose, they deciding to go for broke with a surge of running supportive rugby.
With a big overlap created on the open side a try begging Staines wing Jack Crehan had to make a big tackle. This unfortunately was deemed to high by the referee. So the first yellow card was produced on the 9 min mark.
Whilst trying to reorganize the defence Havant capt and talisman Grant Morris took advantage and cruised over the white wash to score an unexpected score. Duly converted by fly half Joel Knight. 20-7.
Stunned, the Swans tried to force the game back to Havant. With Jamie Staniforth breaking the gain line down his left wing, the tackle needed to stop him cruelly ended his game with a shocking knee injury. Backs coach Rich Mahony had no alternative but to bring on back row Charlie Allen to the wing.
Havant must have sensed some panic as from the resulting line out, Havant broke the tackle line from mid field to again send capt Morris through for his well taken 2nd try of the game. This time Knight converted from in front of the post.
Staines were now on the back foot when with 16 mins gone Junior Harrison was sin binned for an of the ball incident. Now down to 13 men Staines had to dig deep and believe in them selves.
Joel Knights slotted his 2nd kick of the game, with a well taken penalty from Staines coming of side at a ruck. The home team was now trying to take full advantage of the missing personnel from the away team. Again Staines come off side at the contact area leaving ref Ttosa now choice but to give the penalty in front of the post. Knight duly converted to bring the scores to a nail biting last 10mins 20-18.
Composure was the key word for Staines now, with a full complement of players back on the pitch. This was to pay of with 3 minutes left on the clock Staines took a clean line out thrown by Liam Shanahan to Cleary 10 meters from the Havant try line. Pick and drive was the message from scrum half James Robinson. Eventually opportunity came and again Chris West was there to score his 3rd try of the game driving hard, hitting and spinning to score to ensure the bonus point with the 4th try for the away team.
Havant not to happy with the decision replied with one last push for the Staines line. The experienced Morris was there to score again under the post, much to the dismay of a Staines team that had given every thing today. Joel Knight converted the try to finish the game 27-25 to Staines.
Chris West was named Man of the Match by The home team supporters, after the game.
Director of Rugby Rod Jermy commented after the game;
"This result was massive for Staines today, which has Staines moving up the league and into next weeks game at home to Tring a lot more confident and optimistic with a chance of putting together back to back wins. The only down side today was the injuries to Jamie Staniforth and Chris Wells"
STAINES SWANS were:
Mark Smith, Jamie Staniforth, Lewis Pruce, Chris Wells, Jack Crehan, Michael Forster, James Robinson; Luke Charlton, Liam Shanahan, Tom Jones, Tom Cleary, Junior Harrison, Kerry Boyd, Tom Miklausic, Chris West, Luke Spellen, Charlie Allen, Shane Brady.
Next week Staines Swans are at home to Tring in National League 3.