A round dozen for Town
This match was effectively over as a contest in the 23rd minute when Stevenage scored their fourth and bonus point try.
This was Town’s tenth win in the last eleven games and lifted them into third place in the table, level on points with second placed Datchworth, making the clash between the two local rivals on 2 March, even more significant than usual.
Despite the emphatic victory, Stevenage had to play well against a gutsy Verulamians side that never gave up and continued to compete right to the end, scoring two tries of their own.
The difference was that Verulamians were unable to live with the pace and power of Stevenage’s running with the ball in hand, which was particularly prevalent in the first half when Town were playing into a howling gale.
Eight of the tries were scored in the first half, against the wind with the familiar pattern of Verulamians clearing the ball only for Stevenage to run it straight back with a score being the inevitable outcome. Three of the tries came directly from the Verulamians kick-off from the previous score.
For Stevenage, their twelve tries were spread around the team coming from nine different scorers with Ian Crompton helping himself to a hat trick and Ryan Clancy a brace. In addition, Vinnie Kevans, Phil Pearson, Wes Moore, Michael Wilson, Alex Banna, George Turvey and Darren Outram also found themselves on the score sheet, with Gareth Lewis adding five conversions.
The range of scorers was a clear indication of what a good all round performance this was by Stevenage, with every player making a positive contribution and putting together some excellent rugby. It was not just the power of the running but the running lines and the constant supply of turn over ball that caused Verulamians problems all afternoon.
This was a welcome boost to Town, who travel to league leaders London Welsh next Saturday, knowing that they are in good form. With just six matches remaining in the league season, there is everything to play for in the race for promotion.
Stevenage Town Team: Michael Wilson, Ryan Clancy (Chris McGrath 47 mins), Ian Crompton, Gareth Lewis, Vinnie Kevans, Jesse Tipene, Andrew Malins, Darren Outram, George Turvey, Bradley Cook, Scott Quarmby (Jacek Zbucki 47 mins), Phil Pearson, Ben Hodge, Wes Moore, Alex Banna
Subs not used: Adam Amos
Tries: Vinnie Kevans
Ryan Clancy (2)
Ian Crompton (3)
Conversions: Gareth Lewis (5)