Much-changed Stags battle back to cull the Badgers and claim first away success
- Credit: Archant
Huntingdon shrugged off a stack of personnel and positional changes to collect their first away success of the Midlands Division One East season last Saturday.
Coach Damien Whales had to make a total of 11 tweaks to his line-up for their trip to previously unbeaten Northamptonshire side Bugbrooke, but it didn’t prevent Stags from twice wiping out double-figures deficits to snatch a 26-24 triumph.
A positive outcome looked unlikely as they conceded two early tries to find themselves adrift, but Stags gradually pulled themselves together to gain a footing in the game.
They pinned the hosts in their own territory and Tad Chapman guided over a couple of penalties to reduce the arrears before the break – and the points really began to flow in the second period.
Chapman’s third successful penalty brought Huntingdon to within five points of the home side before a couple of tries in quick succession stretched the Bugbrooke advantage to its largest margin of 15 points.
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It would have been easy to roll over at that point, but Stags dug deep and launched a match-changing comeback.
New Kiwi recruit Glen McIntyre powered in under the posts for his first try for the club, converted by Chapman, before young prospect Matt Waring darted in for his first touch-down at senior level.
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Chapman again added the extras as Stags clawed their way back to within a point of their hosts and they then edged ahead for the first time in the final minute when he steered over another penalty to complete a dramatic cull of a team, known as the Badgers.
In the process, Chapman also completed a 16-point personal haul.
Stags are back in home action this Saturday when they entertain a Dronfield side, who have lost all three games to date, at the Racecourse at 3pm.