Huntingdon Stags begin new year on a high

HUNTINGDON Stags started 2012 on a high with a 37-19 win over Wellingborough on Saturday.

After completing their Midland Two East South double over the Northamptonshire side at the Racecourse, coach Damian Whales said: “Wellingborough are a decent team but they really had no answer to us today.

“Our forwards put them to the sword – it was a complete butchering, and our backs finished off the points. It’s that simple.”

Indeed it was: Stags were quick out of the blocks with Tango Morgan intercepting a pass and running in the first try, which was converted by Dan Malem. Their second came soon after when George Woodroofe picked up the ball from the base of a scrum and fed James Thorpe who crashed over under the posts. Again Malem added the extra points.

Wellingborough managed to narrow the gap with a try of their own but were then reduced to 14 men for 10 minutes when their openside flanker saw yellow for dangerous rucking. Stags took advantage with two tries and a Malem penalty.

The first try, the best of the match, was initiated deep in Huntingdon territory by hooker Seth Muggeridge who made a weaving 50-yard break. Malem caught the defenders on the hop and kicked for the corner and when Stags won the turnover, a simple draw and pass allowed Tad Chapman to score untouched in the corner.

The second was on the back of a barnstorming Woodroofe run; he stopped near the line and fed Murphy Hill for the bonus-point try. Malem converted to give Stags a 29-5 half-time lead.

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Early in the second half Charlie Cook was on the end of a flowing backline move to score in the corner and push the lead out to 29 points.Wellingborough made the scoreline somewhat more respectable in the final 10 minutes with two converted tries while Stags were a man down after Thorpe was sin-binned. Malem added another penalty with just two minutes remaining.

“The first half was probably the best rugby we have played all year,” said Whales, adding: “The second was a bit iffy but we had done what was needed to get the result.”

Stags, sixth in the table, now face a tricky away tie at Bugbrooke on Saturday.