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Christmas comes early for Stafford Rugby Club

By Staffordshire Newsletter  |  Posted: December 19, 2013

By Dave McLean

  • STAFFORD rugby team were given some valuable encouragement ahead of Saturday's game when former All Black international Dan Braid visited the county ground.

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Stafford 1st XV 35 Camp Hill 1st XV 5

STAFFORD 1st XV's final game of the year saw them chalk up a crucial Midlands 2 West (North) victory.

Seizing on an early mistake, quick hands saw Stafford smuggling the ball away and a scintillating Nick Oxley charge ripped the attacking visitors wide open, Rich Martin following in support taking the ball over the line for the first try and adding to the conversion.

Stafford started to dominate from all phases of play and this created a decent platform to strike from all parts of the field. As the defence smothered another Camp Hill assault, grasping hands wrestled the ball away from the opposition. Vinny Hogan set off on a one man attack and released a flying Martin for his second converted try and a 14-0 interval lead.

The second half started with Stafford's Danny Duggan timing a perfect lunge to intercept a pass and fly down the pitch.

The ball flew between hands several times before a furious sprint by Chris Barbagallo propelled him across the line for the third try of the afternoon, Martin maintaining his 100 percent record with the boot.

The visitors had no response to a Stafford side who started raiding into opposition territory at will. Two powerful tries by Nick Oxley claimed the winning bonus point and subsequent Martin conversions maintained a flawless scoring afternoon. It was left to Camp Hill to close a long afternoon with a breakaway consolation try.

This was an awesome afternoon of rugby, one that saw Stafford clawing their way up the league table to share join tenth place with Willenhall. The team go into 2014 having put together three back to back wins at home, starting to make the Cathedral a ground that the opposition will not look forward to visiting.

This Saturday, Stafford entertain Walsall with a 2.15 kick off.

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