First Team Match Reports
Match Reports 2019-2020 Season - First XV
Minehead RFC 1st XV 27 Burnham On Sea RFC 1st XV 24
A classic game of two halves was had as the Stags took to the long winding A39 on Saturday to take on third placed Minehead Barbarians and aim to maintain that impeccable unbeaten league run.
Minehead started the match the better side who kept the visitors on the backfoot for many periods of the first half. Poor discipline and decision making by The Stags allowed Minehead to take hold of the game and after 10 mins they took the lead after a well worked try 5-0.
From the restart, it was The Stags turn to put pressure on the home side who were awarded a penalty for an infringement at the breakdown. Tim Piper found touch but The Stags lost the lineout which allowed Minehead to clear away from wither there 22 area.
Minehead continued to put pressure on The Stags which in turn forced many errors and loose possession of the ball. It wasn’t too long before the score doubled, 10-0 and on the stoke of half time Minehead managed to bag another try to extend the lead 17-0. HT
Along came the hair drier treatment as Coach Kevin Inalls didn’t hold back in his half time chat. Changes were made with Tom Wall, Sam Wall & Scott ‘not the DJ’ Mills came off for Tom Stevens, Luke Gowan and debutant Asbel Rodriguez aka ‘The Spaniard’. Gowan had returned from injury after dislocating his elbow back October.
Stevens & Gowan were an instant hit in the forwards and the cohesion that came for next 20 minutes proved why The Stags are league leaders as they clawed back all 17 points and took the lead 17-19 with some sublime flowing rugby. Poor Minehead didn’t know what had hit them but knowing how resilient they are more was to come.
Gowan was first for The Stags which Piper converted, then came Sam Lewis who scored from the back of driving maul and then came along Stef Pierce from the back of another maul to take the lead.
With momentum in The Stags favour, Minehead found a way to disrupt it as they managed to keep hold of the ball once they had it. Working their way towards the Burnham white wash they were awarded a scrum 5m out and came away with 5 points and moments later scored another out wide to extend the lead 27-19.
Gowan bagged his second try shortly after to set up a tense 10 remaining minutes but Minehead held on and closed the game out to beat the league leaders in what was probably the best game of the season so far. End to end stuff with two quality teams fighting it out for the 80 minutes.
Final Score 27-24.
Imperial RFC 1st XV 7 Burnham On Sea RFC 1st VX 36
The Stags took to the road again up to our good old friends Imperial RFC. The relationship between both clubs, off the pitch, is a tight bond but on the pitch, a vast difference.
The Stags lost this fixture last season and were aiming to maintain that unbeaten run and increase the gap between them and Nailsea.
The sun shone on the righteous straight from Kick Off as The Stags meant business and put Imp’s under pressure in defence. An Imp’s lineout was stolen by the visitors just inside the Imp 22 and Richard Muskett came at pace, to receive from Tim Piper, and smashed through the Imps defence to score the first try of the game. 0-5.
Imps struggled with the pace that The Stags has set from the off. Using the width of the pitch and good handling skills in the off loads, top try scorer, Ryan Beard found himself on the score board and extend the lead. Piper adding 2 points. 0-12.
Imps used some intelligence from the restart and starved The Stags of possession as they gained territory up the park with some classic forwards play and going through the phases with pick ‘n’ go’s and crash balls. A scrum was awarded to Imps on the 5m line which only meant one thing to them, a classic Imps push to the line and score, and they did. 7-12
Imps discipline let them down on many occasions throughout the match and Piper added a further three points from a Penalty just inside the Imps 22. 7-15.
Only a couple of minutes later Ash Cutter found himself bulldozing his way through and over the white wash. Piper adding the conversion 7-22.
Try of match started inside The Stags half with Piper slicing his cross field kick which was plucked away from the Imps winger by George Goodall, who was eventually tackled. The ball was recycled quickly by Sam Lewis who spotted loose head, Stef Pierce, who managed to force his way over taking two Imp players with him. Piper added 7-29 just before HT.
The second half started and for the next 35 minutes this happened ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..
On the 76th minute Conor Howard opened up his legs galloping down the flank and was tackled inside the 22 area, the ball went loose in the tackle, but thankfully backwards and a stag boot fly hacked the ball towards the try line and full back Alex Watkins pounced to score the last try of the game shortly before the final whistle.
Final Score 7-36 and 17 wins from 17.
Another remarkable achievement has been made as it has now been over 1 year since The Stags have lost a league game which was against Wiveliscombe back on the 12th January 2019.
Nailsea & Backwell RFC 1st XV 3 Burnham On Sea RFC 1st XV 10
The Stags took big step towards claiming the Somerset Premier title on Saturday, with a hard-fought win away to nearest rivals Nailsea & Backwell RFC.
A minutes applause was had prior to KO as mark of respect for Elaine Bowerman who sadly passed away last week. Elaine was a huge part of Burnham On Sea RFC and had sat on the committee for many years.
Unsurprisingly for a match which pitted second against first, the teams were well-matched in the first half, with both defences on top and the majority of the play in the centre of the pitch as both teams exchanged possession of ball many times throughout the half.
The deadlock was broken shortly after the half-hour mark, when Nailsea kicked a penalty, and it remained 3-0 at half-time.
The Stags were content with that score line, knowing that they would be playing down the slope in the second half, with the wind behind them.
The second half commenced and The Stags pinned the hosts back for a majority of the half, but were met by some determined Nailsea defence as well as some poor execution a decision making, that said The Stags were on the score board 10 minutes into the second period, as they won a scrum against the head from 5m out, the ball was worked out to the backs and Will Hopkins finished it off for an unconverted try. 3-5.
From the restart The Stags were straight back in the Nailsea half and the second. Nailsea defenced well and regained possession but the decisive try came after the home side lost possession, and the ball was hacked loose and eventually collected by Tim Piper, who flew like a salmon going upstream over Nailsea defender to score out wide. 3-10.
The hosts piled on the pressure in the last 10 minutes, but the Stags defended resolutely to secure the points.
The result leaves Burnham 18 points clear at the top of the table, having won 16 out of 16 in the league so far this season.
Nailsea remain second, and they do have one game in hand on the leaders, but this looks like a decisive result.
This coming Saturday sees the Stags travel to Imperial (2.30pm).
Yatton RFC 1st XV 24 Burnham On Sea RFC 1st XV 29
The Stags were back in action after the festive break looking to maintain that unbeaten run into 2020 and took the short trip up north to Yatton.
The Stags have had the better hand over Yatton in all three of last season’s fixtures plus the most recent back in September where Yatton conceded 45 points. Stags started the brighter side but it was clear to see that both teams were still working off the Christmas break with various handling errors and infringements at the breakdown. That said, The Stags made headway up the slope to put Yatton on the back foot. With quick ball be produced this allowed the backs to show what fire power & experience they had with Tim Piper scoring his thirteenth try of the season. A similar try was scored by winger Ryan Beard several minutes later, his nineteenth try of the season, to extend the lead as Piper converted 0-12.
With The Stags having the upper hand camped in the Yatton 22 area, Beard showed what he does best, powering through several defenders and crossed the white wash but was tackled high and the referee awarded a penalty try 0-19, just before half time.
It was now Yatton’s turn to play up the slope but The Stags momentum continued as Will Hopkins came at pace and received the ball at pace to waltzed his way through three Yatton defenders to score 0-24. Many would of expected an oppositions heads to drop, but not Yatton, as they began to retain the ball well and it was The Stags turn to be on the back foot. Yatton managed to break the ever reliant Stag defence twice in short succession to claw back 12 points. 12-24.
Yatton now had momentum and could sense that they could gain something out of this match as Second Row, Birkan Gunduz, was given a yellow for slam dunking a Yatton forward but a moment of madness came from their Physio. Stag Full Back, Alex Watkins, kicked from within his 22 area, the ball looked like it was leaving the field, but it did not, and the Yatton Physio caught the ball on the pitch. He soon realised, when the linesman (myself) didn’t flag that the ball had left the pitch, what mistake he had made. The referee awarded a penalty and Piper kicked for touch only 5m’s out from the Yatton try line. Yes, you guessed it, catch ‘n’ drive and with Piper entering the forwards, to bolster the driving maul, he managed to score his second try of the game.
With Yatton perplexed at their Physio’s antic’s, they continued to push The Stags all the way and they sure did by scoring another two tries but thankfully the 80th minute saved The Stags.
So, 2020 has started well for The Stags with 15 from 15 but it is a tough month ahead with away fixtures to second place Nailsea & Backwell and mid table Imperial which is always a juicy encounter.
Final Score 24-29
BOS RFC 1st XV 76 Avon RFC 1st XV 7
So with 2019 coming to a close, its sure to say that The Stags have had an emphatic year with 14 wins from 14 so far this season, 24 consecutive league wins and winning The Somerset Vase back in April and what best way to end the year with a 76-7 thumping over Avon RFC.
This fixture is generally a close and hard fought one but Avon struggled all game with the fire power that The Stags threw at them right from the Kick Off.
Outside Centre, Josh ‘Vlad’ Holder was on song as he scored more ties in one game than previous seasons, a hat-trick that is. Ryan Beard shrugged off his illness to bag a brace of tries as did veteran Tim Piper who scored a total of 26 points in the game.
The Stags were ruthless in all areas for 80 mins whether it was from a set piece or in open play. Holder & Beard outpaced the Avon backline with ball in hand at every opportunity. Inside centre, Will Hopkins scored a sublime individual try by chasing his own kick from within the Avon 10m area. Piper still proving he’s got plenty left in him by tricking the opposition with his audacious dummies, Captain Ross McKechan and Full Back, Alex Watkins, both getting on the score board in the first half to take the score to 43-0 at half time.
Avon conceded a further 33 points in the second half but did manage to avoid the white wash with a converted try. Scrum Half, Sam Lewis, was causing all sorts of problems for Avon by being a nuisance all over the park and also showing his blistering pace as he broke through the Avon defence numerous occasions, and scored at one point but also set up Piper for his second. Further tries came from No 8 Ash Cutter, Beard with his second and Holder gaining his hat-trick just before the final whistle. Final Score 76-7.
Looking back over the last 14 games The Stags have amassed 571 points, have the best defence in the league by conceding only 151 points and have a 10 point lead over there nearest rivals Nailsea & Backwell RFC. The 50 plus point scalping’s over Hornets, Weston, St Bernadettes OB’s, Tor and Saturdays biggest win of the season have all helped the cause and long may it continue.
There are many bewildered members at BOS RFC as this is the most successful group of players the club has ever had. It has taken only 18 months to rebuild and regain the confidence to win after relegation in the 2017/2018 season with only 4 wins from 26. Safe to say these men have come a long way with their pure grit, determination, tenacity and determination to put the bad behind them.
Celebrations were had after the game on Saturday long into the early hours but knowing these guys well they will be looking ahead at the January fixtures. A tough month ahead with away fixtures to Yatton, Nailsea & Backwell and Imperial are to come.
Personally, I am overwhelmed by the success of the club and proud to be a part of it……….. exciting times ahead Stag’s!!!
Merry Christmas and a Happy New year to you all.
See you in 2020
Burnham On Sea RFC 1st XV 52 Tor RFC 1st XV 0
The Stags were on song this Saturday with a triumphant win over Tor 1st XV at The BASC Ground stretching this seasons unbeaten run to 12 league games and 21 games when taking into consideration the back end of last season. This is a milestone that the club have never experienced before so long may it continue.
The Stags made an impact right from the kick off and kept Tor within their own 22 area. The ball was recycled from a ruck and fed out along the Stags back line who had a 3 man overlap and winger, George Goodall scored the first points of the game. Tim Piper converted 7-0
From the restart Tor felt the force of the home side and found themselves on the back foot as The Stags charged back into the visitors half. Some valiant defending by Tor forced errors at the breakdown and they were awarded a penalty. The penalty kick was poor and the ball was back in Stags possession. Several phases went by and gaining momentum The Stags punched holes in the Tor defence with Jude Donnelley managing to score close to the posts. 14-0.
Tor's defence was dogged at times which paid off on numerous occasions forcing several penalties throughout the half but they lacked creativity when ball in hand.
The Stags scrummaging was firm throughout against a larger pack and from one scrum quick ball was produced for scrum half, Sam Lewis, who fed the ball out to Will Hopkins at Fly Half, along to Rich Muskett then Josh Holder who hit the Tor defence and managed to force his way through and score with Piper adding the conversion. 21-0
The second half started in similar fashion as The Stags continued to be dominant and ruthless in attack. Going forward at speed and quick recycling of the ball at the breakdowns, Lewis spotted Captain, Ross Mckechan, galloping from deep who received the pass from Lewis and crash through a couple of Tor defenders to score the forth try of the game and seal the bonus point. 26-0
Several minutes later the home side displayed a fine passage of play across the field then a chip over the top gave Holder chance to chase and the ball bounced kindly for him to gather with Adam Peters in support who received the pass and cross the line with ease. 31-0
Shortly from the restart the experience of Piper with Captain Kecks in support saw the pair of them dance and pass the ball several times waltzing through many Tor players but came to rest inside the Tor 22 area. Ball was recycled and Hopkins came up trumps and added more misery to the visitors. Piper converted 38-0.
The game was still alive but some dubious decisions went against The Stags as Peters was given a yellow for rolling around and Lewis not long after also saw yellow for a silly off the ball offence but that did not faze The Stags as further try came Ryan Beard on the wing but and Prop Stefan Pierce got the eighth try of the game shortly before the final whistle.
Final Score 52-0
Burnham On Sea RFC 1st XV 53 St Bernadettes Old Boys 0
The Stags went into this match looking to maintain their unbeaten run against visitors St Bernadettes Old Boys and provided a fine display of rugby for all that were spectating.
The commenced and The Stags were ruthless from the off having lots of possession of ball deep in the visitors half and it was only a few minutes into the game when full back, Alex Watkins, put himself on the score board with a well worked try out wide to take the lead. 5-0.
Watkin's, soon after his first, added a second try on the other side of the pitch to extend the lead to 10-0 after only 6 minutes of play.
After a frantic start, St B's began to settle and tighten up but struggled with The Stags fire power coming at them from all angles. The Stags were using the full width of the pitch going through many phases and hitting the channels at pace.
This type pf play broke St B's defence on many occasions and The Stag's back's came up with the goods yet again. This time, veteran Inside centre, Richard ‘Kiwi’ Muskett, broke through St B's line and managed to find enough pace to break away from an oncoming player to score under the posts and the conversion was made. 17-0. Another Stag veteran, Tim Piper, was forced to leave the field with a pulled hamstring and was replaced by Winger, Louie Jones, so a reshuffle of the back line pushed Hopkins in at fly half.
St B's had to change to their game plan, which they did for the next 15 minutes, as they didn't over commit at the break down which allowed players to spread I the defensive line. There were times that St B’s put The Stags under pressure in their own half but a resolute defence protected the white line.
The Stags set piece was effective throughout the game as they dominated the scrums and lineouts which gave a platform for their style of play. With only a few minutes left of the first half, The Stags found themselves camped on St B’s 5m, and quick recycled ball was whipped out by Sam Lewis who spotted Hopkins running at pace and he broke through to score and seal the bonus point all before half time. Hopkins converted his own try 24-0. HT
The second half started in similar fashion as The Stags continued to be ruthless in all areas. They carried the ball well and over the gain line time after time. Replacement, Ed Lewis, made an instant impact to the game with a couple of thunderous runs and was tackled short of the line, in the latter run, so up stepped his brother at scrum half who noticed the large gap at the breakdown and dived over the ruck to score. 29-0.
Credit to St B’s as they never let their heads drop and continued to try in vein and prevent more tries but were unable to cope. After a superb passage of play by The Stags, Kiwi continued to be a menace in the back line and broke through the defence yet again to bag his second try which Hopkins converted 36-0.
As St B’s continued to struggle, penalties began to creep in and The Stags capitalised on this by pinning St B’s well within their own half with effective place kicks to touch from Hopkins. With the lineouts working well, The Stags knew what to do, so lineout won, catch ‘n’ drive and off they went trundling towards the try line and prop Stef Pierce touched down at the back of the maul to score another try with Hopkins converting 43-0.
The Catch ‘n’ Drive was so effective in the remainder of the second half it produced two further tries for front row players, Adam Peters and Chris Warner, with the latter scoring the last try of the game. This was The Stags first game of the season where no points were scored against them and clearly shows what a class defence the team have.
Final Score 53-0.
Next up is away too Stothert & Pitt this Saturday. KO is at 2.30pm.
Oldfield Old Boys RFC 1st XV 11 Burnham On Sea RFC 1st XV 27
The Stags set sail across the Mendip Hills on a very wet Saturday to take on second placed Oldfield Old Boys RFC for a top of the table clash. OB had lost their previous fixture against Wells RFC the week before so were determined not to lose two on the bounce.
OB had the upper hand in the first ten minutes with more possession of the ball who also had a kicking game plan to keep The Stags in their own half. When the Stags managed to retain the ball, they controlled the game well but OB’s quick defence read the ball well and an audacious pass from inside centre, Richard Muskett, was intercepted by the OB winger who ran, from within his own half, the remainder of the pitch to score the first try of the game. 5-0
OB’s kicking game kept The Stags pinned back and it was clear to see that OB’s quick defence were aiming to force errors but The Stags back line of Conor Howard, Alex Watkins and Ryan Beard dealt with onslaught in a composed manner. OB extended the lead to 8-0 after being a awarded a penalty for offside.
The Stags then came out of first gear in straight to fourth, then fifth by applying pressure on OB’s in all areas. As they worked there way up the pitch, going through the phases, quick ball was produced on the 5m line for Muskett, who made up from his intercepted pass, by spinning off a tackle to score, 8-5.
From the restart, OB's quick backs applied pressure on The Stags deep in there 22 area and were awarded a penalty for holding on in the ruck. The penalty was within range of the posts and they extended the lead 11-5.
The Stags began to control the remainder of half by keeping possession going through the phases and gaining territory. Several phases of play were had with the pack recycling the ball at each breakdown which allowed Sam Lewis to whip the ball out to stand in Fly Half, Will Hopkins, (Tim Piper was grooming himself for the weekend) who produced an accurate cross field kick which OB's struggled to defend and the ball was gathered by Josh Holder who scored The Stags second try shortly before half time. 11-10.
The Stags has sussed out OB's game plan and starved them of the ball for many periods of the game. After persistent pressure deep in OB's half they somehow managed to loose possession in a ruck. With OB's regaining the ball they also lost possession in a phase of play on there own try line as the ball popped out a ruck and Hopkins pounced to score and take the lead. 11-15.
OB's fire power was fading as The Stags took control of the second half and proved why they are league leaders. OB never looked like scoring any more points and Captain, Ross Mckechan, showed his raw power after a run of play to score and Alex Watkins converted to extend the lead 11-22.
With only a few minutes remaining, The Stags sensed they could add more points and close the game out. Watkins made a blistering run from deep and received the ball to score the last try of the game just before the whistle was blown.
Final Score 11-27.
Burnham On Sea RFC 1st XV 42 Old Redcliffians RFC 2nd XV 7
Old Red's took a southernly trip to a wet and breezy Burnham On Sea this Saturday and were met by a brick wall, literally.
Brothers Sam & Tom Wall stole the show in another fine display by The Stags and extend there unbeaten run eight from eight.
Winger, Ryan Beard, returned form his southern hemisphere jolly and made an immediate impact by scoring The Stags first try, with a few minutes gone on the clock, by powering through the oncoming Old Red's defence to score with Tim Piper adding the conversion. 7-0.
The Stags were caught napping straight from the restart and Red's responded with a breakaway try to level the score 7-7 after only 10 minutes of play.
This appeared to wake up The Stags and they began to retain possession of ball, going through the phases and gaining territory. Twinkle toes, Tim Piper, showed that he still has some gas in him by breaking the defensive line with ball in hand putting the Red's defence on the back foot. As he gained the meters, the forwards followed in support and after a couple of phases quick ball was recycled by Sam Lewis and flanker, Sam Wall, caught the ball at pace from 10m out and managed to force a way past the defence to score and regain the lead. Piper converted 14-7.
The Stags continued to apply pressure on Red's but several handling errors and some solid defending by Reds kept The Stags at bay. Red's struggled to retain the ball at times which gave the hosts several opportunities to counterattack and from open play Jude Donnelly showed his strength, from just within the 22 area, slipping a couple of tackles to score under the posts. 21-7
The Stags started the second half in similar fashion as they finished the first half by continuing to apply pressure on Red's deep in the 22 area. The forwards displayed some impressive scrummaging pushing the opposite pack back numerous times and disrupting scrums. The referee penalised the visitors and after a few attempt of a push over try the referee awarded a penalty try. 28-7
Red's began to tire due to long periods of defending but some poor execution of play by The Stags prevented some try scoring opportunities and possession was lost and Red's managed to clear the ball away.
The Stags came straight back at Red's, with more composure and steady play. Patience paid off when replacement Tom Wall scored from open play and Piper adding the extras. 35-7
Brother, Sam, scored his second try shortly after to seal the game with a final score of 42-7.
The Stags sit top of the table and will play second place Oldfield Old Boys RFC away on Saturday 9th November. KO at 2.30pm.
Burnham On Sea RFC 1st XV 19 Minehead Barbarians RFC 1st XV 10
On Saturday afternoon The Stags welcomed Minehead Barbarians to The BASC ground for a top of the table clash as both teams had yet to taste defeat at this stage of the season.
The hosts knew this was going to be another tough match but were well prepared gaining the knowledge from last seasons two hard fought wins.
The game commenced and in the early stages The Stags had good territory by keeping Minehead in their own half but possession of ball was spilt between the two sides. Minehead's defensive line were quick which pressurised The Stags and forced several errors in open play which allowed Minehead to clear away.
The set piece had vastly improved from the previous week which allowed The Stags to maintain that territory. A scrum was awarded just short of the 5m line for the hosts and Jude Donnelley, playing at 8, picked the ball up from the base of the scrum who took off on the blindside and crashed through the oncoming winger to score the first try of the game after 30 mins. Tim Piper converted 7-0.
Minehead responded shortly after as they caught The Stags back line napping on the 10m line and there outside centre broke through a gap, with the winger in support, who received the ball to score out wide. 7-5.
From the restart, Minehead kept the ball well, going through the phases and worked there way back into The Stags half towards the try line but some quality defending by the hosts prevented the visitors from taking the lead before half time.
Positive words were given by Coach, Kevin Inalls, at half time and the players responded. Fullback, Alex Watkins, began to link well with the back line who created the overlap on several occasions but those pesky handling errors kept haunting many players. Patience and composure was needed when The Stags were in the 22 area which paid off after a lineout was won the home team, a maul was set but fell into a ruck. Quick ball was recycled to prop Ed Lewis on the blindside and he forced his way over to score The stags second try. 12-5.
The Stags began to gel from this point as they attacked the visitors. Veteran Fly half, Tim Piper, proving he still has it in him as he spotted gaps appearing a few times breaking the Minehead defence and during one move passed wide to Watkins coming at pace from 15m out who was tackled into touch inches from the try line.
Minehead batted well to keep The Stags at bay from the resulting lineout and managed to work away from danger pushing the hosts back.
At times, The Stags defensive line were so quick (maybe a hint of offside once or twice) Josh Holder managed to intercept a pass and sped off towards the try line, looking for support but in doing so, allowed himself to be tackled 5m out.
Minehead continued to protect the try line for several minutes but its tough for any team to sustain attack for too long and with play back in the visitors 22 area, quick ball continued to be recycled and after several phases of play, Sam Lewis whipped the ball out to Will Hopkins, who was running at pace, and crashed through two tacklers then managed to stretch for the line and scored a well deserved try. Piper adding extras 19-5.
Minehead never gave up and proved why they are a tenacious team by putting The Stags under immense pressure for the remainder of the game and tested the home defence once again. This pressure paid off as they came away with another 5 points with only 8 minutes left to play. 19-10
The Stags were resilient and tackled everything that came at them but fell foul when Piper was binned for an infringement at the breakdown. With possession to Minehead, they thankfully lacked the bit of clinical play and gave away possession when it was needed. The Stags then went through the motions and fizzled out the remaining minutes.
Final Score 19-10.
Burnham On Sea RFC 1st XV 17 Imperial RFC 1st XV 12
Saturday's clash at The BASC was a double header as both teams agreed to combine the league fixture with the first round of the Somerset Vase with The Stags aiming to retain the cup they won last season.
This fixture has always been a battle between the two sides and it was the hosts who had the upper hand in the first half. Possession of ball flitted between both teams for many periods of the first half but it was The Stags who made use of the possession who gained territory into the Imps half.
Imps showed what power they had up front as they dominated the scrums throughout the game but The Stags had a game plan and it was working well as they entered the Imps 22. The ball was fed out wide, from a previous set piece, and some well worked interlinking in the back line gave Outside centre, Josh Holder, the opportunity to cross the line and score the first try of the game after 15 minutes. Tim Piper converted 7-0.
Imps were dogged and ruthless at most breakdowns as they slow the ball down for The Stags for the next 15 minutes but when quick ball was produced Imps struggled to defend out back. The Stags learnt from old that patience will pay off which proved when Full Back, Alex Watkins, entered the back line to increase numbers, creating the overlap and scored to extend lead. Piper adding the extras. 14-0.
Piper slotted a penalty shortly after the second try increase the lead even more to 17-0 but it was Imps finished off the better side of the first half as they pushed The Stags back on to there own try line. Imps didn't have the patience like the hosts as they were trying to force the ball but The Stags quick defence and some poor handling errors let them down.
The second half was a different a tale for the hosts. Imps knew they had the upper hand in the scrums and capitalised on this by opting for scrums when infringements were given. The Stags struggled to contain the ball on there own put in and Imps were awarded a penalty on the 5m line. The Stags knew what was coming and could not hold back the oncoming set of forwards and Imps scored an unconverted try from the base of the scrum. 17-5.
Imps pinned The Stags back but the lack of patience was evident for them as they kept giving away possession to allow The Stags to clear the line but a similar scenario to the first try happened again for Imps as they scored another push over try which was converted close the gap. 17-12.
The Stags knew what was coming and did not fall into the Imps trap for the remainder of the half as they did what they could in the scrums and stood firm in the loose.
No points gained in the second half for The Stags but credit to all 15 players who defended immensely against a strong Imps side.
Final Score 17-12.
So with two hard fought games over the last couple of weeks The Stags have another this forthcoming Saturday as they remain home to entertain league leaders Minehead RFC. KO is a 3pm.
Burnham on Sea RFC 1st XV 30 Nailsea & Backwell RFC 1st XV 28
The Stags were looking to maintain there current unbeaten run, at this early stage of the season, as were visitors Nailsea & Backwell who proved to be The Stags toughest opponents during September.
The match commenced with N&B receiving from the KO who then tested The Stags resilient defence going through many phases of play for the opening 10 mins of the game. The Stags stood firm with everything thrown at them but once they gained possession of the ball it was time to test the visitors defence who also proved to be solid.
It took an 'American Football Style' dummy, after 20 mins by Fly Half, Tim Piper, to trick the oncoming N&B defence to open a gap for him to gallop off towards the try line with Scrum Half, Sam Lewis, in support who received the pass from Piper to score the first try of game which Piper converted. 7-0.
The N&B forwards were busy at the breakdown throughout the game and proved why they are a team to be wary of for others in the league as they set a platform for their backs to respond after 30 mins and level the score 7-7.
With both teams sharing possession and territory for many periods of the half it was The Stags who had the upper hand with quick ball being produced at the breakdown, going through the phases and forcing N&B to retreat. This momentum was difficult to defend for N&B and Sam Lewis fed the ball out wide which found its way to Hooker, Sam Wall, who dodged the oncoming players to score out wide. Piper was on cue and got the conversion. 14-7.
N&B caught the home team napping and responded immediately to level the score 14-14 shortly before half time.
The second half started brightly for The Stags and it wasn't too long before Inside Centre, Will Hopkins, showed his silky skills and raw power by forcing his way past several N&B players to score The Stags third try with Piper adding the extra's 21-14.
From the restart The Stags kept ball in hand and found themselves back in the N&B half and were awarded a Penalty for a high tackle. Piper maintained his 100% recorded and extended the lead 24-14.
N&B regrouped and forced the home team back into there own half and clawed back 7 points and keep within range. 24-21.
Piper slotted a penalty from just outside the 10m line with 10 minutes left to play. 27-21 and with 6 minutes to go The Stags were awarded another penalty 30-21.
N&B kept the crowd on the edge of there seats as they scored another converted try 30-28 but the whistle was blown shortly after the restart.
We can safely say that this was a fine display of rugby by both teams and credit to N&B for pushing The Stags to the wire.
Final Score 30-28
Man of the match was Tim Piper.
This Saturday The Stags remain at home with a double header in the league & Somerset Vase against Imperial RFC. KO is at 3pm.
Burnham On Sea RFC 1st XV 45 Yatton RFC 1st XV 5
The Stags were back on home turf this Saturday and welcomed last season’s fellow cup finalists Yatton RFC.
In perfect playing conditions the game commenced under the basking sunshine. Both teams struggled grasping the ball at times with many handling errors but it wasn’t too long before The Stags retained the possession of the ball, pressurising the Yatton defence which opened up the gaps and full back, Alex Watkins, scored the first try of the game. Tim Piper converted 7-0.
Most would of expected a flowing game of rugby on a dry pitch but it was a stop start affair with many dropped balls for both teams so scrummaging was at its high. This impacted on both sets of forwards for periods of the first half but gave a platform to work from.
The Stags Captain, Ross Mckechan, was next on the score board after several phases of play deep in the Yatton half with Piper converting 14-0.
Shortly after The Stags were awarded a penalty and Piper extended the lead 17-0 just before Half Time.
Some stern words were given by Coach, Kev Inalls, at half time and the players responded in the second half.
Stalwart, Piper, led the way by scoring and converting his own try after a mazy run and showing the crowd he’s still got it in him after all these years. 24-0.
The Stags then began to retain the ball well and break Yatton down. With quick ball produced by the pack, the backs were running from deep and winger, Conor Howard, opened up his legs to speed down the wing, outpacing a couple of Yatton players to score his first try which Piper converted. 31-0.
It was only a few minutes later that Piper produced a carbon copy of his first try, to his delight, and keep his 100% kicking record for the day. 38-0.
A lapse of concentration by the home team allowed Yatton to get on the score board with their only try of the game 38-5. T
This minor blip was likely to be the effects of the sun and heat but Conor Howard had enough pace and energy left in him to score the final try and seal the game. Piper converted 45-5.
Final Score 45-5.
The Stags remain at home this forthcoming Saturday and take on Nailsea & Backwell RFC. KO is 3pm.
Avon RFC 1st XV 26 Burnham On Sea RFC 1stXV 29
It was 10 years ago since The Stags last won at Avon RFC and after last seasons disappointment in this fixture the sun shone on the righteous.
The game started with high intensity and The Stags were forcing Avon to defend for several minutes then were awarded a penalty which Tim Piper converted after 5 minutes. 0-3.
It was clear to say that Avon were not going to be any push over on there own patch, who were strong in the scrums and dogged at the breakdown. This gave them the platform to pressurise the visitors and took the lead by scoring from within their own half. 7-3.
Both teams began to settle with Avon having good possession of ball and testing The Stags defence on numerous occasions. Both teams exchanged missed penalties but it was the visitors who added more points to the scoreboard with Scott Havercroft scoring out wide after several phases of play. 7-8.
With more possession of ball for The Stags, they began to make yards towards the Avon try line but quick line speed, solid in the loose and strong tackling Avon kept The Stags out shortly before half time.
Changes were made at Half Time with Chris Warner coming on at tight head and Jude Donnelley on the wing. The scrums settled and the tide changed as The Stags had good possession of ball and with the warm and dry conditions the ball was fed from side to side along the back line and it wasn't long until The Stags extended the lead with Stef Pierce scoring and Piper adding the extras. 7-15
Shortly afterThe Stags were awarded a penalty and Piper kicked to touch. The ball was thrown long and inside centre, Will Hopkins, used his foot skills to control the ball, gathered and hit the oncoming Avon defence to only produce the most audacious off load to the supporting Piper who scored under the posts and converted his own try. 7-22.
Avon are a tenacious team and were not going to let The Stags think they were a push over. Possession was with Avon and they dug deep for many periods of the second half which paid off as they clawed back 14 points with two converted try's to bring the score 21-22.
The Stags were not going to repeat last years performance, where they let slip a large lead, so were straight back in Avon territory. A few phases of play had passed and the ball was fed along the line with Donnelley sucking in the oncoming defence and passing out wide to Scott Havercroft who bagged his second try of the game with only 5 mins to go. Piper was helped by the cross bar to get the conversion. 21-29.
Avon never gave up and sensed they could snatch the win and scored within a minute to bring the score 26-29 with 4 mins to go which was plenty of time for more points.
Avon managed to regain possession from the restart and pinned The Stags in there own half for the remaining minutes of the game but the visitors held out to seal a tough away win.
Final Score 26-29
Credit to Avon as they dug deep and always found away to keep themselves in the game.
Man of the Match was awarded to Chris Warner.
Next Saturday The Stags are home to Yatton RFC 1st XV
Burnham On Sea RFC 1st XV 58 Hornets RFC 2nd XV 15
The Stags welcomed local rivals Hornets to kick off the 2019/20 season and produced an sublime game of rugby with Inside Centre, Will Hopkins, bagging a hat trick of try's.
First on the score board for the home team was Hooker, Adam Peters, who received the ball at the back of a maul only 5m out from a lineout which was only going one way for Peter's try. 5-0
The game settled for a short period with both teams sharing possession of ball flitting into each others territories.
As The Stags began to settle a penalty was awarded to the home team who kicked for touch and sensed another try. Lineout won and off they went from 8m out With the ball at the back of the maul, scrum half, Sam Lewis scored the second try of the game. 10-0
Hornets had other ideas and caught the home team napping with a try out wide to close the 10 point gap. 10-5.
The Stags set pieces were sold throughout the game which set a platform to work from and Stef Pierce scored the third try. 15-0.
Possession of ball was in the Stags favour and Lewis opened up the visitors defence with a blistering run, Hopkins was in support and received the ball from Lewis, to bag his first try which he converted himself. 22-5.
Soon after the forth try Hopkins began to shine with ball in hand showing his strength and power crashing into the Hornets defence to score his second try shortly before half time 27-5.
Only a few minutes had gone into the second half and No 8, Ash Cutter, spotted wholes in the Hornets line and waltzed through to extend the lead with The Stags sixth try which was converted. 34-5.
Hornets scored a similar try to their first from out wide to claw back 5 points 34-10.
The Stags responded and as Pierce scored his second try of the game 39-10 but sadly, Hopkins was awarded a yellow card for not releasing the player he tackled soon after.
Hornets used this to their advantage and clawed back another try, 39-15 but further tries from replacement prop, Ed Lewis, his brother Sam and Man of the Match, Hopkins completed an emphatic win over there local rivals which finished up 58 - 15.
The Stags are on the road this forthcoming Saturday away to Avon 1st XV. KO is 3pm.
Click here to see match reports from 2018-2019 season