Senior XV - 2016/2017
LEICESTERSHIRE vs STAFFORDSHIRE. 6TH MAY 2017. BILL BEAUMONT COUNTY CHAMPIONSHIP DIVISION TWO (NORTHERN).
Leicestershire 45 – 7 Staffordshire
The county championships open with a hard encounter for the travelling Staffordshire team.
Staffordshire travelled to Lutterworth for the opening game in the 2017 County Championships. With 11 new caps and a Leicester team which boasted a smattering of level four players, this was always going to be a tough opening encounter for the Staffs squad.
The heavy Leicestershire XV piled on the early pressure and ground out their reward through two tries to build an early lead. Staffordshire worked hard, fighting their way back into a very physical game to pin the home side into their own half. A bludgeoning run by Jack Neal was stopped just short of the opponent’s line and a subsequent penalty could have cut the deficit, but flew wide. Nick Oxley was the next to threaten when the ball found its way to the flying wing and only the final defender thwarted the attack into touch. Leicestershire were unable to respond and continued to endure a savage assault which couldn’t quite find its reward through points. Harry Titley and Lee Brogan combined well to tear holes in the defence, but the home side managed to stem the swarming XV who poured in to support the attack. Against the flow of the play, a clinical Leicestershire counter attack scored their third try of the afternoon. Staffordshire resumed the siege eventually breaching the defence through an elusive run by Jack Newton Taylor which saw the visitors cross the line for their first try of the afternoon, only to be denied by a shrill blast from the referee’s whistle and the close of the half. Staffordshire went into half time trailing by 19 – 0 but having played most of the rugby throughout the game.
Leicestershire kicked off the second half, initial Staffordshire defence was strong but a miskick bounced off an opposition player to hand the home side their opening try of the half. The home side attack was relentless, but Staffordshire were tenacious in defence making Leicestershire work hard for every inch of ground. In a sublime piece of rugby, the Staffordshire XV fought through the Leicestershire attack to release Sefanaia Bulumakau who used all his pace to score the visitors first try of the afternoon, converted by Jone Nabetelevu. The rest of the half belonged to Leicestershire who took three more tries to finish the afternoon. In the other game from this league Durham ran out the winners with a 62 – 5 victory over Cumbria.
TRAINING CONTINUES THIS TUESDAY AND THURSDAY 9TH & 11TH MAY AT BURTON RUFC. SESSION STARTS AT 7PM
NEXT COUNTY CHAMPIONSHIP GAMES:
Saturday 13th May; Staffordshire vs Durham; game to be hosted by Lichfield RUFC with a kick off at 2.30pm.
Saturday 20th May; Staffordshire vs Cumbria; game to be hosted by Longton RUFC with a kick off at 2pm.
The Staffordshire Squad for the County Championship game on the 6th May:
1. Kevin BirtLichfield RFC
2. Kyle RoutleyManor Park RFC
3. Ricky WhitehallBurton RFC
4. Ken ArcherBurton RFC
5. Joe GazzardBurton RFC
6. Jack NealBurton RFC
7. Christian PriceLongton RFC
8. Kelvin BrowneBurton RFC
9. Lee BroganLongton RFC (Captain)
10. Harry TitleyBurton RFC
11. Jone NabetelevuLongton RFC
12. Jack BrooksBurton RFC
13. Sefanaia BulumakauLongton RFC
14. Nick OxleyBurton RFC
15. Jack Newton TaylorLongton RFC
18. Brad EldershawLongton RFC
19. Lewis SturgessBurton RFC
20. Ethan WalkerWalsall RFC
21. Billy WaraLongton RFC
22. Charlie MaskreyStoke RFC
23. Sam LongstaffLongton RFC
24. James DaviesBurton RFC
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