Sandbach 89 - Preston Grasshoppers 4 3
Sat 14 February 2009
The report (huh hum)
Valentine’s Day comes around once a year, as does a first half performance produced by the Sandbach 2’s against Preston 4’s on Saturday. The Sandbach faithful were rewarded with open, fast flowing, and at times champagne rugby to which Preston had no answer.
Midweek selection raised a few eyebrows with romance dodgers Buzz and Blackers returning to bolster the pack. With the pre match talk all about how the 2’s were going to fill the void left by prolific winger Timmy “the women” Jones, some questioned the Nick Mallett like decision of moving a second row onto the wing…..step up Dan Faulkner! Critics were soon silenced.
The 1st half highlight was four sensational tries from the Roca-faulko which not only got the Sandbach express rolling, but saw Tim Jones drop out of the top 3 try scorers.
Sandbach set their stall out early, with the forwards dominating the contact area, allowing the backs to take advantage of plenty of time and space. With safe hands, direct running and speed out wide Sandbach were out of reach after the first 20 mins.
Simple rugby was the order of the day as Sandbach’s quality shone all over the park.
With the old heads of Pembo, Buzz and the flowing locks of Andy Lee guiding youngsters Tom "the Keith" Whalley and Nangawardie there was no hope for the Preston 4’s pack. Clean ball allowed Barloo and Andy “U bend” pipe to make ground on the rattle, which made for an easy ride for debutant George Oakey to feed the backs.
Pinpoint passing from Stanny and creative running from "captain fantastic" allowed the confident back 3 of Mike Huss, Chris Greenlove and rejuvenated Rocko-faulko to find the gaps in the Preston defence.
Half time 55-03
The second half was a scrappy affair, with Sandbach forcing the play too many times which allowed Preston to see more of the ball.
Sandbach played some of the 2nd half with 14 players as indiscipline in the dreaded red zone saw debutant George Oakey have10 minutes to reflect on his misdemeanour.
Preston surged the Sandbach line and looked to go home with a mere consolidation try but it was to no avail.
If Sandabch would have stuck to the simple rugby they perfected so well in the first half they could well have hit the century mark. When Sandbcah did keep it simple they were able to exploit the tiring Preston side which saw another 6 tries before the final whistle.
The excessive number of tries (15 in total)meant plenty of conversion practise for the Sandbach number 10, which saw a success rate of 42.9% (6/14). More practise aiming at the posts and less time on Call of Duty eh Stanny!
The end of the game saw Rocko-faulko and Chris Greenachre with 4 tries each
Nangiewander on 2
Mike Huss, Andy Locks Lee, Billy Reece, Stanny and George Oakey all on one try a piece
Full time 89-03
Fair play to Preston who played with great spirit and never gave up, they showed glimpses of danger and crossing the white wash late on, but they did not have the same structure, creativity, pace, and cutting edge seen by the Sandbach outfit.
Big thanks must go to Blackers and all the returning Tax Exempts who all played an important part.
Accolades to the old heads (pembo, buzz, andy locks lee) and young but experienced club men pipey and barloo. An impressive George Oakey debut, although sin binned provided quality service not seen by Stanny this year (apart from when Mr Bird played!)
And who will ever forget the time rocko-faulko scored 4 1st half tries on the wing…well played lad.
Sandbach now travel to local rivals Wilmslow 2’s for which is set to be an epic encounter. They must not show complacency and put into practise what they learned in this recent encounter.…. getting the simple things right, dominating the contact area and set piece, and keeping the ball in hand is enough to win any rugby game.
All should make an effort to attend training to keep the twos express rolling! Cho cho
// Many thanks to Dan Butler for the report. \\