Stowmarket in complete control
RUGBY UNION: Stowmarket 33 Billericay 3. Stowmarket didn't look like the side that had been promoted to Eastern Counties Division One through a play-off.
Stowmarket 33 Billericay 3
STOWMARKET didn't look like the side that had been promoted to Eastern Counties Division One through a play-off.
From their own kick-off the forwards charged at the Billericay pack, drove them backwards, won possession and set the standard that was going to be maintained for the following 80 minutes.
Within minutes a penalty was awarded and Shaddick put the first three points on the board.
The back row trio of Robinson, Thomas and Norfolk took the game to Billericay and after fast rucking and charging runs from Taylor and Whitehouse, the ball was shipped to Roberts who stepped his opposite fly-half and scored under the posts.
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Shaddick converted and perhaps due to the pace and adrenaline, Stowmarket allowed Billericay to retrieve three points from a penalty.
That was to be the last chance that Billericay scored and more to the point, looked like scoring.
Opportunities were missed due to handling errors, but at the speed at which Stowmarket were trying to play these mistakes were going to be made.
A Billericay kick for touch was gathered by Beaton and with his trademark step and dummy, broke the gain line and fed the ball to the ever supporting Thomas who scored in the corner. Billericay battled, but the scrum was strong and the pack constantly drove Billericay back.
As Billericay were going back, scrum half Pearmain picked up and from the 22 hit the gap and scored. At half time, with a 20-3 point lead, Stowmarket made two changes. Crowe and Slight replaced Robinson and Charlick.
If the opposition thought that these were simple replacements they were in for a shock.
From the kick-off Crowe took the ball and made 50 yards before being stopped. The pressure again mounted and Shaddock slotted another penalty.
At this point the momentum was halted as Deane, from a re-start, landed awkwardly and his knee gave way. In pain and requiring an ambulance, the game was moved onto the second pitch and resumed.
Having used their third replacement, Stowmarket were down to 14 men. It took 10 minutes for the team to regroup, and once they did the pressure returned.
With big inroads being made by the forwards and quick ball to the backs, Warner broke through the centre and fast hands left Shaddock with a simple run in.
Uuru finished off the scoring with a display of pace, strength and quick footwork.
As extra time was played out Stowmarket simply controlled the game to suit them.
Head coach Liebenberg was overjoyed at the display but as his team know, there's still a lot of work to be done, mistakes to be addressed and a long season ahead.
SUDBURY registered their first win of the season 13-5 against Twickenham, although it is a game both sides will probably want to forget.
Twickenham had a man sent off and Sudbury had a man carried off with a broken ankle in a scrappy match.