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Staines 0-48 Gravesend
Swans wings clipped as Gravesend run in eight tries against luckless Staines XV.
Anyone watching this game at Snakey Lane on Saturday could have been forgiven for not realising this was a top v bottom of the table clash as the Swans made Gravesend work for every score they put on the board.
The first ten minutes saw Gs lose their first three line-outs when inside the home twenty-two, and what should have been a mere formality when Gravesend’s big pack got near the opposition line, saw chances missed and the home line cleared.
Having gone close earlier, it was John (Junior) Rocket that opened Gs account as he forced his way over in the corner to touch down.
An embarrassment of possession in the opposition half, saw Gs time and again lose their usual unflustered attacking position to be forced into dropping or knocking the ball forward.
The ever faithful pack won possession back at will as they forced the Swans backwards at the set scrummage, but so often the ball was wasted.
Gray and Okenla had combined a couple of times with no success but on sixteen minutes Gray at pace out stepped the defence following Bressons' chip through to score the first of his three tries.
Zanirato slotted over from the tee to extend Gs advantage to 0-12.
Great possession for Gs but this was met by some fierce defending by the home pack, and they at times were gaining in confidence as they won the odd turn over ball.
It was the driving forward for second phase possession that gave Bressons the room to pass out before looping round to make the extra man and on two more occasions in the first forty minutes Gray was on hand to take the scoring pass, with Zanirato adding the conversions for a 0-26 lead.
Good pressure from the home pack as the half was coming to a close saw them come near to their opening score, but Gs defence held firm, although not always legally.
Being awarded a penalty just seven metres out, Swans decided to kick for the points but the luckless Williams saw the ball rebound off the upright and be secured by a Gs hand.
The half-time whistle came, and a comfortable 0-26 margin, which could have been doubled had the ball carrying been up to par.
For the team that is supporting the rest of the league, Staines Swans put in a performance the like of which should earn them some points before the end of the season, but this day was not to be theirs.
Hooker Klus took a recycled ball at pace and there was not resistance as he charged across the goal line for the opening try of the second period.
Staines were keeping Gs up to their work as the next fifteen minute was a stalemate as many off-sides went unpunished and Gravesend were not allowed to play the game they would have like.
Seventy minutes and pressure on the home line at several set pieces eventually saw the home back row transgress once too often and a penalty try was awarded.
Zanirato added the conversion and with ten minutes left on the watch Gs command had moved to 0-38.
The big guns in the centre, Moorey, Meddings and Gray were finding their way blocked by the dour defending of the home backs and back-row.
The hard working backs eventually got their reward when strong running from Stevens and Aigbokhae set Meddings up for a long run in for Gs seventh of the afternoon.
So much work from the front five looked to be going unrewarded until a series of pick and roll paid dividends as the ever present Cutting Forced his way down for the final score and a winning 0-48 margin.
Next week Gs entertain the high flying Wimbledon on the park, while playing host to the Mayor of Gravesham at the pre match lunch.
Team: Gray, Okenla, Meddings C, Moorey, Rocket, Bressons, Zanirato, Cuttings, Klus, Forsyth, Newman, Necular, Stevens Z, Aigbokhae, Brooks-Smith reps; Stevens S, Harrison, Nolan.
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