Sunday 9th February: Oxfordshire U20 17 v 0 Staffs U20
Thanks to Chipping Norton RFC, Oxfordshire U20's were able to host Staffordshire U20s in the National Shield Quarterfinal on Sunday.
With a wind blowing and a heavy pitch this was never going to be an advert for running rugby.
Staffordshire won the toss and elected to play into the wind in the first half. Not surprisingly Oxfordshire spend a considerable amount of the first half in attack. Their first score came after 12
minutes with a penalty.
The next score came after a catch and drive from an Oxfordshire Lineout just inside the Staffs 22. After a drive to within 10 metres of the line, a succession of pick and go's saw the Oxfordshire hooker dive over for the try line. The conversion was successfully made. to give Oxfordshire a 10-0 lead
Staffs pack were on top,picking and driving around the fringes of the ruck. Oxfordshire were struggling with the referees interpretation at the tackle area and were conceding penalties one of which resulted in a yellow card, Staffs however were unable to make the extra man
count and the score remained 10-0 at half time.
With the wind at their back Staffs started the second half strongly. Oxfordshire twice defending
attacks within their own 22 in the opening minutes. Oxfordshire defence was holding and they were intent on not giving the ball away and played from deep within their half through numerous phases. They were rewarded in the 49th minute with Anthony Kent scoring Oxforshire's second try after 10 phases of play. The conversion was made and the Scoreline was now 17-0.
The remainder of the half saw Staffs trying to get on the scoreline but without seriously threatening the Oxfordshire line.
Final score 17-0 to Oxfordshire.
Sunday 19th January - Staffs 51 v 12 Cumbria @ Longton RFC
STAFFORDSHIRE powered their way into the National Under 20 Shield quarter-finals by trounced Cumbria 51-12 at Longton’s Trentham Lakes.
The QF date is scheduled for February 2nd, the opponents are not yet known as POOL 2 still has remaining fixtures and Staffs are due to travel to the winners of thatPool.
Burntwood’s blindside flanker Daniel Poole was Staffordshire’s hero at Longton where he muscled over for a hat-trick of tries before half time.
Staffordshire had the bonus point wrapped up after 26 minutes with centre Ed Askew impressing on his home ground with two tries and number eight Sam Longstaff securing the bonus point with the first of his brace of tries.
Staffordshire dominated up front but Cumbria stuck to their task and scored a well-worked try through left wing Jovert Fermilan (Penrith) early in the second half.
Don Cascoe-Smile makes a break against Cumbria with captain Max Hughes in close support.
Askew’s second try and a well-taken effort by right wing Don Cascoe-Smilie (Dudley Kingswinford) cemented Staffordshire’s win before forward pressure brought further tries for replacement lock Matt Hubbard (Leicester Academy) and Sam Longstaff's second.
Cumbria scored a second try at the death through full-back Andy Glendinning (Carlisle) to reward them for their long journey and early start.
18th December - Staffs 20 v 8 Leics @ Lichfield RFC
STAFFORDSHIRE overcame atrocious weather conditions and stubborn resistance from Leicestershire to keep alive their hopes of qualifying for the quarter-finals of the National Under 20 Shield with a 20-8
win in Pool One at Lichfield’s Cooke Fields ground this evening
A gale force wind and driving heavy rain made conditions, both overhead and underfoot, treacherous and ruined the contest as a spectacle but Staffordshire made better use of the conditions and came from
being eight points down at one stage to secure a deserved win.
Both sides deserve credit for trying to play rugby in adverse conditions and Leicestershire scored the try of the night after only four minutes when right wing Rhondell Stabana of Leicester Grammar School crossed with his first touch of the ball on his debut from a confident handling move.
Centre Tom Heggs (South Leicester) stretched Leicestershire’s lead with a 16th minute penalty but Staffordshire defended tenaciously for the rest of the half and pulled back three points after 23 minutes when number eight Jack Fielding of Bournemouth kicked an important penalty into the wind.
One try with the benefit of the wind at their back never looked like being enough for Leicestershire and so it
Staffordshire’s intelligent kicking after the break pegged Leicestershire in their own 22 and left them with little option but to try to run the ball out of defence.
When Leicestershire made errors, Staffordshire pounced with blindside flanker Daniel Poole (Burntwood) driving over from a five metres scrum to level the scores after a Leicestershire pass went astray.
Lock Sam Longstaff (Newcastle) crossed from another five metres scrum midway through the second half which gave Staffordshire the lead for the first time.
Further Staffordshire pressure was rewarded when Longstaff arrived in support and crossed for his second try late on and Josh Bowyer (Trentham) added the conversion.
17th November 2013 - Durham 25 v 23 Staffs @ West Hartlepool
Durham came out on top in a very close encounter at West Hartlepool, with the initiative changing hands several times and the final result hanging on the last kick of the game.
Staffs dominated possession in the opening 10 minutes of the game and took the early lead with two quick penalties from Dominic Ellerton, both for offside offences by Durham at the ruck.
Durham responded well, applying pressure in the Staffs 22 and winning a penalty of their own in front of the posts, slotted over by Elliot Husband. Durham then took the lead with a try from Nathan Myers in the 24th minute, but the lead was held for only 3 further minutes before Staffs responded with a try in the corner from winger Don Cascoe-Smile.
Durham brought the scores back level 11-11 at the break with a second penalty by Husband, after Staffs were penalised for entering a ruck from the side.
Durham came out stronger in the second period and regained the lead with a try from Husband, which he also converted. Then back came Staffs again with a try from Max Hughes, converted by Ellerton, evening the scores again. The pressure was now on Durham, and they defended strongly through several Staffs phases of possession, before turning the ball over in their own 22 and passing, swiftly through the backs, fed winger Jack Gunn who broke at pace making 50 metres, before offloading inside, the ball eventually being fed to prop Jack Angus who barrelled over to score the best try of the game, converted by Husband.
Staffs kept pressing however and Durham, picking up injuries, and going down to 14 players after a yellow card, were on the back foot for the final 10 minutes. They almost held on but Staffs finally broke their resistance in the final seconds of the game, with Lewis Bain crossing the line to score near the corner. The final conversion kick would have tied the match for Staffs, but drifted narrowly wide of the posts, and leaving Durham u20s to celebrate their hard fought win.
Sam Cradock (Lichfield)
Curtis Green (Longton)
Ryan Getley (Trentham)
Zach Chaddwick (Stoke)
Sam Longstaff (Newcastle)
Joe Nixon (Stoke)
Max Hughes (Walsall)
Danny Poole (Burntwood)
Sam Friend (Lichfield)
Dom Ellerton (Newcastle)
Lewis Bain (Uttoxeter)
Jordan Wood (Rugeley)
Don Cascoe-Smile (Dudley Kingswinfod)
Jack Newton-Taylor (Leek)
Kristian Taft (Tamworth)
Ed Askew (Longton)
Laured Kalari (Walsall)
Will Smith (Burton)
Tarik Tin (Walsall)
Reece Downes (Moseley)
Josh Bowyer (Trentham)
Matt Hubbard (Leics Academy)
Luke Rookyard (Burntwood)
Ryan Martin (Newcastle)
Laurence Hobbs (Stafford)
Iain West (Stoke)