Stoke 27 Hereford 12
In the first half, Hereford were blown away by a Stoke team that managed the blustery conditions better. They made good progress by keeping ball in hand. And playing against the strong wind they had built a lead of ten points by the interval. Stoke had registered a brace of unconverted tries, whilst Hereford failed to capitalise on a couple of good chances.
After the break Hereford came out with renewed vigour.
Within five minutes Hereford had engineered a narrow two-point lead with a pair of tries, one of which was improved. Stoke promptly regained the lead with a penalty and followed up with two converted tries in the final minutes. Leaving them to run out winners by 27 points to 12.
Coach, Alun Richards said, “Disappointed with the result overall. Stoke were a very physical team and we struggled to manage that in the first half. We made lots of mistakes, possibly caused by the week’s training being disjointed. Not being able to get on the pitch has really affected us. At half time we asked for a reaction and we got that. We got the physicality and we managed to pull the game back around.
The boys were able to get ahead, but Stoke used the strong wind in their favour, to push us back into the corners and take advantage of a couple of mistakes. I am disappointed with the result but really happy with the boys’ effort particularly in the second half. Tom Ewins led by example; James Chamberlain added tempo and Tom Williams put in a strong shift coming off the bench. We now need to focus on next Saturday’s game and to getting the club back up and running, after the serious flooding we’ve had. So plenty to work on!”
Hereford kicked off with the strong wind at their backs.
But failed to take advantage as Stoke kept the ball in hand and put pressure on the visitor’s defence.
The lively Stoke scrum half picked up a loose ball after a Hereford lineout to kick ahead and win the race for the touchdown. The conversion failed but only minutes later, Stoke doubled their advantage when their scrum pushed over for a second try. Giving them a 10 points lead. Hereford came close to reducing the deficit before half time crossing the Stoke line with the ball twice. Only to be brought back by the referee on each occasion, for a knock on!
The Wyesiders started the second period with greater impetus.
Following some good work by Levi Hughes, Tom Ewins picked up the ball in his own half and with a determined run scored an individual try. Moments later Bryn Goodall put in a well-judged cross kick which found Ewan Proctor, who touched down for the second Hereford try. Bryn Goodall’s conversion gave the visitors a slender two-point lead; which was held for less than five minutes. Hereford conceded a penalty in front of the posts to return the lead to Stoke. Stoke increased the pressure, using the wind well and added two further tries in the final quarter. Both tries were converted taking the final score to 27 points to 12.
Hereford took too long to get started. Failed to take advantage of the wind in the first half and made too many unforced errors.
Every player put in a good shift and as so often, mistakes were made chasing the game.
Next week we are due to entertain Ludlow at Wyeside, but at present no decision on this game has been made.
As soon as we have confirmed details these will be posted on the website and social media pages.
Match report by Robin Davies||Photography by Dave @ Wildcat Photography