A second half surge gives Stowmarket victory
- Credit: Gregg Brown
A strong showing after the break helped Stowmarket secure a 45-30 win over May and Baker at the weekend.
Stow’s more dynamic and expansive handling game creating six tries, combined with a resilient team effort featuring a Leif Bjornson hat-trick and 15 points from the boot of Tamati Hauraki-Tyrell, was enough to secure a first win of the season over a powerful but one dimensional May and Baker team.
May and Baker surged into an 11 point lead within ten minutes, with a game based on forward driving and inter-passing forcing two penalties and a try. However this was done at a pace they could not sustain and Stowmarket fought their way back into the game with converted tries from centre Stu Hill and winger Bjornson. May and Baker’s strong pack maintained dominance in the scrums and were competitive at the breakdown, adding a second converted try just before half-time to lead 18-17 at the break.
But in the second half Stowmarket raised their game and May and Baker, limited to a short but powerful forward game, could not compete with Stow’s handling and pace.
Stowmarket’s defence was outstanding with both centres stifling any green shoots of hope with fine tackles and the entire pack stepping up to matching their opponents efforts.
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This created the platform to run in four tries starting with Bjornson’s second after only one minute, a classic winger’s try beating his man for pace on the outside.
May and Baker added one more try before three unanswered converted tries for Stowmarket by Bjornson, Hill and Bradley Durrant put the game beyond reach for May and Baked who added a converted try on the final whistle.
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A well-deserved win for Stowmarket – but a lot to work on for the season ahead.