Smith takes charge to see off Stockwood
Stockwood Park Under-17 8 Royston Under-17 19 AFTER an intense opening 20 minutes, Royston hit back with Andy Smith setting the tempo of an impressive all round display. Stockwood started brightly and spent most of the opening exchanges in the visitor
Stockwood Park Under-17 8
Royston Under-17 19
AFTER an intense opening 20 minutes, Royston hit back with Andy Smith setting the tempo of an impressive all round display.
Stockwood started brightly and spent most of the opening exchanges in the visitors' half, as the home side threatened to break the deadlock.
Eventually the pressure told, with George Elbourn conceding a penalty in front of the posts, which the hosts' full-back judged to perfection.
However, Royston gradually began to see more of the ball, showing their class and strength as Dan and Ben Ritsema dominated play in the middle of the park.
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And following an excellent spell, fly-half Adam Oakman plunged over for a Royston try, with Andy Smith converting brilliantly in the face of a strong wind.
However, the re-start enabled Stockwood to fight back and within minutes they went over for an unconverted try.
Andy Smith almost restored Royston's lead minutes before half-time, but was denied by a desperate last-ditch tackle.
At the interval, Royston made five changes and with the wind now in their favour The Crows were dominating.
Matt Goddard won possession at every opportunity with his shadow lurking over every lineout, while Oakman's probing kicks created space for the Ritsema brothers and Adam Smith.
Charlie Brooks, Leon Rigaut and Joe Cullen drove the forwards on and pushed into the Stockwood 22, where scrum-half Fergus Martin spread the ball into the path of Andy Smith to run over in the corner.
The Royston forwards then set up The Crows' final try when hooker Eddy Hall picked up a loose ball and drove forward with Ben Ritsema picking up the re-cycled ball and bursting through under the posts.
Man-of-the-match Andy Smith confidently kicked the conversion and Royston ran out deserved 19-8 winners.