Stephenson College v St Cuthbert’s
Friday 8th December – 8:30pm Kick-off
St Cuthbert’s 26-19 Stephenson
Stephenson Tries: J Brown, J Crawshaw, B Newton
Stephenson Conversions: S Pinnock (x2)
1 – Ben Newton
2 – Daniel Broughton
3 – Greg Russell
4 – Nkwizire Ndzi
5 – Paul Levallois
6 – Richard Skinner
7 – Joshua Brown (c)
8 – Dominic Augutus
9 – Sam Holroyd
10 – Sam Pinnock
11 – Sam Barnes
12 – Joshua Crawshaw
13 – Nathan Allan
14 – Tomas Varga
15 – Jack Dennis
16 – Cameron Herbert
17 – Michael Najjarr
18 – George Douglas
19 – James Rosawno
20 – James Christain
With a struggling start to the season, Stephenson College Rugby Team looked forward to a double-header game against St. Cuthbert’s in the floodlit cup. The squad arrived at 7pm on the team coach (a few Corsas and Crawshaw’s excuse of car). Once the shirts were distributed and the lads were ready, we took to the pitch, on what I can confirm was a bitter night.
Before the boys began their warmup, the two coaches, Stephen Hall and Alexander Nikolatos (Did you know they play DU Rugby?), led a team talk. After a thorough warmup and the arrival of the travelling fans, kick off was upon us.
*** Stephenson won the toss and decided to kick ***
Sam Pinnock kicked towards the Cuthbert’s team and with a solid chase from the Stephenson squad, the carnage began. Obviously pumped for the big game, the tackles flew in from every direction and a huge shout out must go to Richard Skinner, Dominic Augutus and Nkwizire Ndzi for their incredible defensive performance. After a calm first 10 minutes, Cuthbert’s capitalised on a mistake from Stephenson. They spread the ball wide with quick hands and managed to put it down in the corner. The only real consolation being that Cuths missed the conversion.
** Stephenson 0 – 5 Cuthberts **
After a chat under the sticks, the Stephenson team took to the half way line to retain possession. After a solid collective performance and some hard running by the forward pack, Stephenson were awarded a penalty in Cuthbert’s 22. Pinnock took the decision to go for touch and with pinpoint accuracy handed Stephenson a lineout 5 metres out from the Cuthbert’s try line. Lineout won, the Stephenson forwards huddled to maul the ball over and captain Brown managed to be the man to touch down for another ‘meat pie’ (try). An equalising try set the fans alight and a conversion would have sent them into raptures however Pinnock sliced the conversion.
** Stephenson 5 – 5 Cuthbert’s **
With the lads knowing a tight game was on the cards, we tried to play a slow game but despite dominating the scrums and lineouts Cuthbert’s continued to play on silly mistakes made by our boys and managed to go over again, this time ensuring the conversion was made. With the first half coming to an end and the supporters flocking to the warmth of Maiden Castle a big team talk was needed to ensure Stephenson stayed in this one.
** Half time Stephenson 5 – 12 Cuthbert’s **
Indeed, whatever the coaches said to Stephenson did seem to have an impact and the lads started strongly with big carries from Greg Russell, Cameron Herbert and Paul Levallois. However, despite their hardwork the team were undone once again by our own mistakes, ultimately leading to two converted tries for Cuths. At 26-5 down, it looked like the end.
** Stephenson 5 – 26 Cuthbert’s **
Despite the score, Stephenson continued to push for a result, and were rewarded for their efforts and collective hard work soon after with a try from resident big-man Crawshaw and converted by our very own Owen Farrell, Sam Pinnock.
** Stephenson 12 – 26 Cuthbert’s **
Now I’m actually going to have to apologise here as I sadly took a knee to the face and I can’t actually remember what happened for the remainder of the second half. However, I have been told by Stephen Hall and Alexander Nikolatas that the lads continued to play a well-structured game which resulted in Ben Newton going over the white wash in the last moments and Pinnock converting. Indeed, this last minute try left the game with a well deserved and respectable one try score 26-19.
I could not be any prouder of the boys that took to the field and we cannot wait to see what’s in store for us after the Christmas break as we continue to improve together as a team. Finally, I would like to thank the fans that came to watch, despite the cold conditions, and I hope you all had a wonderful experience and join us again soon.