The Blue and White’s control of this fixture occurred within 3 minutes taking a 3 point penalty lead from an early Staffs infringement. A much improved opposition to previous encounters, at a fabulous new AGP facility encouraged the hosts to play ‘fast and wide’ recycling to the wing, against a slow firing Cestrian defence. Lead Coach Nathan Rushton with Coaches Billy Woof and Dave Morgan swiftly got the message onto the pitch, impacting change and an immediate controlled response from their charges, with a well worked forwards try, never allowing Staffs back in the game. The slow start and a near miss to test defence, was the wake-up call needed in Cheshire’s first Championship game of this season.
Control of the phases invoking honed team skills, sprinkled with individual flair, brought The Blue and White’s together, brushing away what had passed, and moving on, with confidence, supporting each other at the break down, hunting for work and invoking the game plan to secure 40 points.
Staffs had some quality in their back line, that they sought to release behind dummy runners testing the refs policing of offside, but they were no match for Cheshire, who worked as a team, forwards and backs together securing 5 convincing team tries, three conversions and three penalties.
A number of other points were left on the pitch from Cheshire missed kicks and errors. This was quickly picked up by the coaching team, already addressing learning at the ‘on-pitch’ ‘post –match’ debrief.
Team Manager Ian Stanton said “From initially taking the lead within minutes, we then had to blow away the cobwebs before ‘kicking on’ to take full control. Whilst there are some great individual skills on show, it was great to see ‘Teamwork’ in our first real test of the season” “The coaching staff are already looking to build on this performance, as are the players, we know Northumberland have invested in their development, and were now really looking forward to our encounter at Bowdon in 8 weeks time”
Preparation for a much sterner home test against a reformed Northumbria team has commenced and will occur at Bowdon RUFC 2-30pm KO Sunday 15/3/19.
All Welcome… Come and support Cheshire County U20 team!