Disciplined performance by Town secures bonus point win
This was one the most disciplined and controlled performance by Stevenage for some time as they swept to their tenth try bonus point of the season.
It was OMT’s who scored the first and last tries of the afternoon but sandwiched in between, Town helped themselves to five tries of their own.
OMT’s had their fair share of the possession and often threatened the Stevenage try line but a combination of good defence by Town and a lack of finishing by the home team, restricted them to the opening try and a second try from the last play of the match, by which time it was only a consolation.
Stevenage played into a strong wind in the first half and frequently found their endeavours coming to nothing as OMT’s cleared their lines with a number of raking kicks deep into the Stevenage half.
It took 22 minutes for the first try and it came against the run of play. Following a period of sustained Stevenage attack, the home side took play into the Stevenage twenty-two and created an overlap on the left for wing forward Matt Gandy to score a fine try.
It took Stevenage only four minutes to respond. Jesse Tipene found Ian Crompton running an incisive line to cut through the OMT’s defence from inside his own half. He rounded the full back to score an excellent try. Gareth Lewis added the conversion.
Town extended the lead in the 36th minute following a controlled period of forward pressure, finally moving the ball swiftly to the right where Ryan Clancy finished the move.
OMT’s job was made harder in the 38th minute when Guiseppe Picanza was sent to the bin for a deliberate knock-on and Stevenage immediately capitalised on the man advantage with their third try, from the last play of the half. Similar to the second try, it came from sustained forward pressure on the OMT’s try line but this time, Tipene scored from close range to give Stevenage a half time lead of 17 – 5.
Much of the second half consisted of both teams trading possession and territory without causing too much of a threat, although Town played out a tricky ten minutes when Conor Mitchell saw yellow for a high tackle. The visitors played out the time without conceding any points. An explosive run by OMT’s centre Sam Isaacs was stopped by a brilliant chase back and tackle by Michael Wilson.
The match came to life again in the last eleven minutes with Town chasing that fourth bonus point try. Stevenage were rewarded for their patient approach when the try bonus came in the 69th minute. Crompton saw a gap in the OMT’s defence and carved through it to score from twenty yards in the corner just before he was tackled out of play.
The lead was further stretched in the 73rd minute when Lewis slotted over a penalty and the Stevenage scoring was rounded off with a fine try by Wes Moore, running an exceptional line, having been set up by a charging run by Mitchell. Lewis added the conversion.
There was just time for OMT’s to complete the scoring with their second try when scrum half Brian Bernadez went over from close range.
The win takes Stevenage up to third place in the league, just a single point behind second place Datchworth. The action resumes on 9 February when Town play hosts to Verulamians.
Stevenage Town Team: Michael Wilson, Vinnie Kevans, Ian Crompton, Gareth Lewis, Ryan Clancy, Jesse Tipene, Andrew Malins, Darren Outram, George Turvey, Bradley Cook (Barry Cook 42 mins), Conor Mitchell, Adam Amos, Scott Quarmby, Wes Moore, Phil Pearson
Subs not used: Terry Penny
Tries: Ian Crompton (2)
Conversions: Gareth Lewis (2)
Penalties: Gareth Lewis