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Four out of four as Lichfield RUFC bag another bonus point in win at Stratford

Free-scoring Lichfield RUFC made it four bonus point wins from four games as they came away from a frustrating fixture at Stratford with a 47-5 victory.

The referee’s whistle was a constant thorn in the action as play struggled to flow throughout – and it was a sign of things to come as the first ten minutes were littered with stoppages.

When Lichfield were allowed to play through their phases, they pushed Stratford back into their 22, and a lineout five metres out was driven over by the pack, Dan Clarke emerging with the ball for the try. Josh Massey converted.

There was a further 15 minutes of error-strewn rugby in the referee’s eyes. Once again, the set piece gave the visitors the break they were looking for. The ball entered Stratford’s 22 before being moved across the pitch, and eventually finding Rich Burton who went crashing over. Massey again converted and the final ten minutes of the half were played out to the sound of the referee’s whistle.

With words exchanged at half-time, there was a hope for an improved second period. It started brightly for Lichfield as the game began to flow. Some excellent interplay between backs and forwards saw the ball spread, and Tom Adams power up the touchline. Sucking in the defence, he offloaded to Paul Maxwell-Keys to run the ball in. Massey converted and the score read 0-21.

The Greens’ dominance continued and with their attack maintaining possession, Stratford had no answer to the intense power game being played. Sam Prior was next to cross, busting through three would be tacklers, to race in from 25 metres.

With the game once again starting to be run by the whistle, a high tackle in midfield by Luke Massey saw him shown a soft yellow card. But even this didn’t stop the Lichfield pressure, as another period of team interplay saw Jonny Evans scamper over from close range. Massey converted, and with the score at 0-33, the contest was all but over.

But the hosts were able to cross the line during this period, but only due to a Lichfield error on the Stratford line. A hack through saw a foot race ensue, which the home 13 won.

The final ten minutes saw some shuffling in the visiting line up, with open side Milner moving to inside centre due to injuries. The switch enabled him to enjoy the open space, and he soon found himself crossing the line from another Adams offload from close range. Luke Massey converted.

The final play held the most enjoyable try, as second row fed prop, who passed to prop on the wing. Charging up the touch line, a neat offload found Cal Turner who was held up just short, but popped the ball up for Dave Bassett to stroll in and finish the game with a converted try.

Lichfield: Taylor, Clarke, Bassett (c), Thompson, Southern, Burton, Milner, Prior; Evans, L Massey, J Massey, Maxwell-Keys, Adams, D Rowlands, G Massey. Subs: Craddock, Turner, R Fielding.

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