Stowmarket rue missed chances in 19-10 loss to Southwold

Stowmarket (red) v Southwold.

Stowmarket (red) v Southwold. - Credit: Gregg Brown

An opportunity squandered for Stowmarket as frequent handling errors and a lack of thought when attacking resulted in many chances being wasted against a committed but ultimately limited Southwold side.

It started dreadfully for the home side when missed tackles allowed Southwold an easy converted score in the first minute.

Stow responded with a penalty by Dan Garrard five minutes later but then the game settled into a rather turgid battle of wills between the forwards. Southwold continuously ran the ball among the front eight and rarely ventured as wide as the centre channels.

Stow in response did similar rather than spread the ball wide and force the opposition to run.

The conditions were difficult for a more expansive game but by failing to spread the game wider Stow played to Southwold’s strengths.

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This was an error compounded by the home side eschewing two kickable penalties, a situation worsened when Southwold’s forwards earned a penalty try in the 24th minute. At the interval the score was 14-3 and Stow needed a radical rethink.

They did increase the tempo but not intelligently as they continued to play a narrow game. Southwold could easily contain these forays and despite losing two players to yellow cards in the 58th and 67th minutes were still relatively untroubled.

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When Stow did break through in the 71st minute with Garrard it looked like a thrilling end was possible. especially as the ball had been shifted wide to the left and Southwold’s lack of pace had been exposed but despite final, frantic efforts Stow were unable to score again.

And, in the final moments a breakaway score by the visitors denied them even a losing bonus point. There was plenty of endeavour by the Stow players but too little thought.

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