RUGBY: Old Laurentians in action against league leaders Stratford
Pictures by Mike Baker
Midland 2 West (South)
Old Laurentians 3 Stratford Upon Avon 50
Report by Mick Warwick
OL’s welcomed Stratford to Fenley Fields for their first League game of the year. It was the return fixture for the game at Stratford in Sept. when Stratford won a close game 36-25. They scored 2 tries in the final minutes, OL’s having led the game going into the last quarter.
A large crowd was in attendance as the clubs 2nd XV’s were also playing on an adjacent pitch. The volunteer White Liners had worked miracles to get both pitches playable.
Any hopes of the OL’s making a good start were quickly dashed by Stratford when they scored 2 tries in the first 5 minutes. Both scores came from good hands and support play all done at pace. Neither try was converted and so 10-nil almost in the blink of an eye!
OL’s quickly got back into the game and put pressure on Stratford in their 22 only to cough up a lineout ball to allow Stratford to clear their lines. OL’s got back on the offensive and forced a penalty which Ben Roach converted to make the score 3-10 after 15 Minutes.
Stratford immediately scored another try showing excellent skills to feed the ball wide and score at ease. Try converted. OL’s 3-17 Stratford
After a further 5 minutes Stratford scored again; this time from what looked to be a pushover try but the Referee ran between the pots and signalled a penalty try. He then gave a yellow card to a member of the OL’s front row. Score 24-3 to Stratford.
The OL’s then started to pick things us but weren’t able to convert any pressure they built up into points.
The next score came just before halftime when the strong running fullback, Jo Cook, scored Stratford’s fifth try which was converted. So the score at halftime was 31-3 to Stratford.
Stratford had shown in the first half what a good side they were. Their determination and skill levels throughout the side were very impressive. They recently knocked Nuneaton Old Eds off the top spot in the league and have an 8 point lead over the Nuneaton side. At this point they look a good bet for the title.
Following a yellow card being presented to OL’s influential second row, Ben Anderson, Stratford scored a push over try, Score 38-3.
During the second half although Stratford added 3 tries to the score line The OL’s played their best Rugby and stiffened up their defense. The bench of Jordi Pocknel, Josh Greenwood and Ben Varney joined the cause and weren’t found wanting. Jordan Bunn was directing things from Scrum Half and Skipper James Orbinson never stopped taking the game to Stratford.
The final score of 50-3 to Stratford will serve as a harsh lesson to our young side and hopefully we will benefit in the long run.
Next Saturday we will be away to Pinley and a good vocal support will be very welcome.