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Greevy happy with Stratford improvement

Stratford director of rugby Tom Greevy.
Stratford director of rugby Tom Greevy.

DIRECTOR of rugby Tom Greevy was happy with Stratford’s improvement in their 24-12 South West 1 East defeat to Old Centralians on Saturday.

After suffering a heavy loss to Newbury Blues on the opening day of the season, the Black and Whites needed to respond and they did just that in a game where they were unlucky to come away without a point or more.

Stratford led 7-5 at half-time, but Centralians hit back with three second-half tries to take the points.

“It was much better,”said Greevy, who took over from Tom Rance in the summer.

“In the end I thought we were quite unlucky to not come away with a bonus point, if not more, especially considering we were leading at half-time.

“It was a couple of lapses of concentration that cost us in the second half and we probably didn’t utilise the wind as much as we could have in the first half.”

The game started with a number of changes to the Stratford team due to injuries sustained against Newbury, along with the usual unavailabilities.

David Pritchard was recalled to fill in the centres, Aaron Johnson came in at openside flanker as well as Geoff Dyson slotting in at tighthead, while 17-year-old colts player Gwen Davies made his debut.

Old Cents struck first out wide, but Stratford hit back with a try after a powerful run from Pritchard and a stretch to the line.

Stratford found themselves under mounting pressure from a determined Old Cents, who were rewarded with two tries in quick succession.

Greevy’s men struck back with a clever kick behind, which was then kicked further ahead for Dan Whitby to collect and dot down.

Old Cents then made sure of victory with a fourth try out wide, which was well converted.

Davies’ performance was another highlight for Stratford, with the Alcester Grammar School student enjoying an excellent game at full-back.

“He did brilliantly,” Greevy added.

“Gwen made a number of try-saving tackles and that was really good to see.”

This Saturday, Stratford welcome Oxford Harlequins to Pearcecroft (3pm).

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