Captain John Stanfield Jnr crossed for a hat-trick of tries as Boston Buccaneers battled hard in a 42-24 league defeat at home against Stoke Staffies.
The captain’s dad John Stanfield Snr, and John Hummel, also scored tries for the hosts with the latter successfully adding two conversions.
After winning 30-16 away against Nottingham Outlaws in their league opener, the Buccaneers welcomed Stoke to the PRSA for their first home match of the season.
Prior commitments and last minute injuries meant that the Buccaneers were in the difficult position of having to field a depleted team, as well as borrowing a player from the opposition.
The Buccaneers showed from the first minute to the last that they were not going to make it an easy game for Stoke. Hard work in defence from Boston saw the visitors’ attacking play smothered, with Stephen Kippax and Sam Jewers being particularly effective in the tackle.
Captain Stanfield Jnr used his expereince around the play the ball, supported by strong running from James Griffin and Thomas Henry. Jimmy Underwood also organised the attack well, putting players like Rory O’Sullivan into space and forcing the Staffies backwards.
A great piece of play from captain Stanfield saw Boston open the scoring, before a real lesson in teamwork followed from the home side, in both attack and defence.
The Staffies worked hard and played some impressive attacking rugby. However, in defence the team spirit of the home side saw wave after wave of attacks snuffed out.
Back-to-back lung busting efforts from George Baldwin, against bigger players in open space, were particularly impressive for Boston.
Captain Stanfield grabbed a further two tries to complete his hat-trick, while his dad John Stanfield Snr also powered over with a well-deserved close range effort.
Although Boston were looking like they could get something from the game, their chances were then hindered as head injuries saw the tenacious Buccaneers reduced to nine players for the final quarter.
Down but not out, a clever crossfield kick from Stanfield was plucked from the air by the hardworking Hummel who managed to cross the line to score a try.
With just 12 minutes remaining the score was tied at 24-24 and a draw looked on the cards. However, the Staffies were using their well-organised attack to better effect and, with their numerical advantage, they found more space and upped the tempo of the game.
The Buccaneers refused to give up and their man-of-the-match Thomas Henry caused problems for the Staffies in attack and defence, including producing a try-saving tackle to deny the opposition winger.
Fatigue set in for the Buccaneers late on as Stoke snatched victory with three converted tries in the closing minutes of the match.