Stamford School First XV rugby team get off to a perfect start

Stamford School First XV captain Charlie Dunbar on the charge EMN-140929-134533001
Stamford School First XV captain Charlie Dunbar on the charge EMN-140929-134533001
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Stamford School First XV produced a commanding display to provide their third victory of the season against Rugby School.

Despite going down 3-0 to an early penalty that would be the last time Rugby would threaten until after the break. The Stamford pack delivered excellent set piece ball, winning all but one of their line outs and two scrums against the head. This allowed the backs to combine with forwards to produce wave after wave of attack. This dominance was reinforced up front as Rugby infringed and the pack drove over from a line out with Josh Allen the try scorer.

Stamford School's Tom Roper scoring the winning try against Stowe. EMN-140929-134615001

Stamford School's Tom Roper scoring the winning try against Stowe. EMN-140929-134615001

Stamford continued to dominate but despite great efforts from Angus Collett, Sam Butler and Henry Wills, they struggled to run their dominance into points. Great passing and running from Harry Lovell and Henry Hives pushed the home team closer. Declan Spaine went close from a scrum against the head and eventually Isaac Troughton dived over to go into a halfway lead of nine points.

Stamford went up through the gears as Charlie Dunbar distributed the ball effectively to his various runners and tries followed for Tom Roper and a second for hooker Allen. By now the result was never in doubt and to their credit Stamford kept up the pressure – held up over the line twice before eventually great defensive work from George Cox and Henry Mawhood pressurised Rugby and from turnover Callum Corbett was under the posts taking the score to 33-3.

Coach David Laventure said: “After performing so well last week to beat Oundle it was important to keep that momentum going. They know they made some mistakes, but the ambition and work rate was great to see.”

Earlier in the month Stamford School First XV defeating Oundle School and Stowe to get their season off to a great start.

In the derby against Oundle the home side were the first to play with a little more structure and composure. Great carrying from Josh Allen and Sam Butler moved Stamford ever closer and following a series of pick and drives, Angus Collett crashed over from short range to get the home side on the board.

Ten minutes later hard running and a crafty offload from Callum Corbett saw centre Dunbar dot down under the sticks. Oundle replied with a penalty. Stamford were now starting to gain some ascendancy at the breakdown and the backs were starting to find a few holes. A clever chip from fly half Henry Hives was gathered and to return the favour Dunbar gathered, fixed the full back and put Corbett away to score.

Oundle responded brilliantly after the break and mauled over to take 5 points after a series of Stamford penalties. This seemed to galvanise the home side and seconds later a fantastic series of attacks across the park created an overlap allowing Tom Roper to dive over in the corner. The icing on the cake came from scrum half Davies who made a cracking break, fixed the full back and put George Cox away to take the score to 31-8.

The previous weekend Stamford overcame a strong Stowe side albeit in the last five minutes of the contest. Captain Charlie Dunbar was full of praise for his troops; “We let ourselves down last week, so the boys were determined to get it right. Oundle is always a tough game but we fronted up and made some significant improvements this week.”