Southmead get hit for six by dominant Stroud
Stroud 34 Southmead 10
CONFIDENT Stroud eased to victory against Southmead with a lively display against a side that did all it could to stop them.
For much of the game Southmead were inconsistent in attack, failing to support each other up front and giving Stroud much of the ball.
The home side were more than up to the task of exploiting such possession as tries from Peter Sykes, John Wand – starting his first game since returning from injury – and Dan Gordon delighted the home crowd.
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Stroud were repeatedly tested in the set piece, faring particularly well in the scrum, and were unlucky not to receive a fourth and fifth try in the first half due to last-minute handling errors.
For their part, Southmead fought them for every bit of ground gained, and it was the pace of players such as Nick Walker that kept Stroud going forward.
They were also dogged by the boot of the opposition fly-half, who converted a penalty early on, and who regularly took Southmead out of trouble with a solid kicking game.
Southmead responded late on with their first try of the game, created by a fine interception in the middle, and for a brief moment it seemed possible that they would balance things out a little.
However, a cross-field kick and a run from Sykes swiftly put paid to that idea, as Stroud re-established their dominance.
Sam Leworthy and Dan Gordon also added to Stroud's tally in the second half, the latter punching a hole in the opposition's centre and setting up an easy conversion for Sykes. He buried two over the course of the game, one for each half.
While there will be plenty to talk over, the most Stroud can do now is to maintain what is proving to be remarkable form as they aim for top spot in the Gloucester Premier.
If Stroud can reduce the error count and continue to improve on the basics, they believe there is no reason why they shouldn't be in contention for promotion by the end of this season.
In such a fine performance, six tries didn't feel anywhere near enough. The message from their coaching staff will be made loud and clear to remember the feeling of dominance.
Next time out Stroud are away to St Mary's Old Boys, kicking off at 3pm.