Cheltenham Saracens II 66 Stroud II 12
Stroud Seconds returned to league action at Cheltenham Saracens in a game to relish having enjoyed some close and hard-fought battles over the last few seasons.
Sarries – like Stroud – were slightly depleted of regular second team players, but players from both clubs stepped up to the mark and adorned their respective jerseys.
Sarries recognised early in the game that to get into strong arm tactics with Stroud’s big and experienced pack would only end in failure, so at every opportunity they pushed the ball from touchline to touchline stretching the big Stroud forwards and asking every defensive question of the Stroud back line including the evergreen and historically outstanding Adam Tarplee at 13 – who used every bit of nouse and brawn to lead the tackle line. But the constant pace and precision passing was just too often and accurate for Stroud to deal with.
Connor Anderson – on his return game – bagged a brace with his second involving running in, out and around pretty much the whole of the visitors’ back line. Chris Davies – on the opposite wing to Anderson – powered himself across the whitewash with some fine running throughout and acknowledged the wide and expansive game Sarries were playing with such effect.
The pick of the forwards was captain Craig Roberts, who was explosive and powerful all game with excellent leadership shown.
Liam Cooper at seven was a close call for Man of the Match with two tries to his name and an outstanding display of work rate and energy and is surely one to watch out for.
But this week’s Man of the Match must go to Townsend who was playing directly opposite Stroud legend Tarplee.
Full newspaper write up here