In between Storms Eunice and Franklin this weekend The Stags managed to play a game of rugby albeit they were blown away by an organised Newton Abbot side.

The Stags appeared to be still on the bus in the first 25 minutes as they found themselves 15 – 0 down after Newton ran in three unconverted tries despite The Stags have around 60% possession and 70% territory.
It took some quick thinking from Back Row, Ryan Beard, who took a quick tap penalty which caught Newton by surprise. Newton were on the backfoot from this and when Beard was brought down short of the line, the ball was quickly recycled out to second row Tom Wall who scored the Stags first try of the game. 15-5.

The Stags continued in vain for the remainder of the first half but several handling errors, turn over balls and a solid defence didn’t allow them to cross the white wash before half time despite being dominant in the Scrums.

Newton managed to secure the try Bonus point shortly into the second half as the opened up The Stags defence and highlighted there weakness in the centre field area. 22-5

With the game beginning to slip away, the Stags began to settle and regain that possession they had in the first half. This time they kept hold of the ball and Will Hopkins made a blistering run into Newtons half then into there 22 area to off load to the supporting Scott Havercroft who scored out wide. 22 – 10.

The Stags began to play their usual expansive game after the second try but poor tackling gave Newton chance to put more points on the score board by adding two further tries and converted both with 20 minutes remaining. 36-10.

Changes were made and Ash Cutter resumed his position at No 8 and made an instant impact. His ball carrying has been exceptional all season and as he gathered the ball from the base of a scrum only 8m out he powered through to score. Scott Havercroft converted 36-17.

With the game coming to a close, Scott Havercroft sealed the Try Bonus point for The Stags with 2 minutes to go but The Newton flyhalf scored a neat solo try at the death to close the game 43 – 22.

Credit must go to Ross McKechan who put his body on the line all game with several knocks earlier on in the game and also to James Havercroft who was a nuisance all game and tackled anything that came his way.

A hard defeat to take on the road but we go again in two weeks at home to Paignton on the 5th March. Also this is the Sponsors and Old Boys Reunion day so hope to see you all there.

The 2nd XV are also home that week to Cheddar Valley.


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