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Burntwood RUFC 2nds put up brave showing against high-flying Stafford

Burntwood RUFC’s second string competed well against a Stafford side which is vying for top spot in the county second team competition.

The visitors had the better of the opening quarter in terms of possession and territory but their only point scoring opportunity was a penalty kick at goal which was wide right after 15 minutes.

It was Nick Peplow’s side which took the lead on 26 minutes. A series of probing attacks saw the visitors concede penalties and from the last award Brett Taylor took a quick tap to catch the Stafford defence off guard to cross for a try.

Stafford held the advantage in the set scrums and used it to level the score on 35 minutes with a try from close range.

Burntwood responded well until the visitors broke out from their own 22. It needed a good tackle by full back Billy Fisher to deny the initial threat followed by solid defence from the rest of his side to force a turnover to keep the scores tied at 5-5 at the break.

With the rain falling steadily, the error count mounted by both sides going into the second half. Both teams also made multiple changes to their line-ups which created a period of adjustment. It was broken when a Stafford back chipped through and was able to pick up on the run for a converted try after 54 minutes.

The visitors were clearly in the ascendancy and tested the home defence with a series of close range attacks but they were up to the task. When Stafford got over the line they were held up and when they were presented with a kick at goal it was off target.

It was not until the 69th minute that the pressure finally told. A strong run by the Stafford backs earned a five mere scrum from which No. 8 and former Burntwood player Gareth Phillips stretched over to score a try.

The hosts showed they were not out of it by replying four minutes later. They took play into the opposition 22 to force a turnover which Taylor seized on for a try in the clubhouse corner.

A handling error in their own 22 sealed Burntwood’s fate just two minutes later. It led to a penalty against which was fed to Phillips. His charge for the line sucked in the defence and the ball was moved wide for a Stafford back to dummy and cross the line for the final score of an entertaining contest played in good spirit.

This Saturday Burntwood 1st XV resume league action with a tough trip Handsworth who sit just one place below them in the table. The 2nd XV host Handsworth 2nds for a Staffs 2nd Team League fixture and the 3rds are due to travel to Shrewsbury for a merit table game. All kick offs now revert to 3pm.

A volunteer wrote this. Say thanks with a coffee.


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