Old Streetonians squander chances in defeat at Saracens stadium
- Credit: Archant
Old Streetonians’ big day out at Allianz Park ended in another dispiriting defeat as errors and ill-discipline cost them dearly in a 31-0 defeat by Fullerians.
Playing at Saracens’ home ground, it was Fullerians who rose to the occasion, utilising a dominant set piece and strong ball carriers to run in five unanswered tries.
But Streetonians didn’t help themselves, squandering two great opportunities in the first half and then earning three yellow cards and a red – which was only the second in the club’s history.
The first big chance came at 7-0 down, with flanker Harry Marson breaking around the fringes of a ruck but, despite putting huge pressure on Fullerians, the backs tried to force an opportunity and were intercepted close to the line.
Without a great covering tackle by blindside Kafui Adjogatse, they would have been punished with a breakaway try.
Having been helped by a lot of cheapish-looking penalties from a fussy referee, Old Street were unable to make inroads after several set-piece and handling errors, and another scrambled tackle – this time from Marson – stopped a second try from a rampaging Fullerians forward.
But eventually the pressure told and, after a charged-down Onians kick, Fullerians got through a dog-leg defence to score under the sticks and go 14-0 up.
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Things would have been much different at half-time if second row Harry Goban had been able to hold onto a pass for a certain seven-pointer under the posts, but that was the last real chance they got after a patchy second half was dominated by mistakes and a string of yellow cards.
First Ryan Trudgeon was rightly binned for stamping – Fullerians making the extra man count after a crash ball back on the inside for a decisive third score.
They secured the bonus-point try after bullying the Onians pack at the scrum and, with the defence trying to shut the gate, the ball was fired wide quickly to the winger who went over in the corner.
Things went from bad to worse for Trudgeon, who was shown a red card shortly after getting back onto the pitch for not rolling away close to the line.
This led to the fifth and final try as the home team’s forwards shoved over from a driving maul.
There was still time for another Onians sin-binning, this one seemingly for multiple infringements at the breakdown, but it was difficult to keep up with a referee who was rapidly losing control of the game.
The official handed out two more yellow cards, one to each side, with just seconds to go for a seemingly innocuous spat.
Old Streetonians captain and stand-in coach Chris McAtominey had no complaints about the result and said playing at Allianz Park had been a great experience, despite the result.
“Fullers were the better side on the day and they showed that by getting the bonus point and keeping us locked out, despite some great field position,” he said.
“There is sometimes a feeling that we create great field positions and then lose our heads a little when we see the white line.
“It’s understandable when you’re struggling for wins that a desperation to score can creep in, but we need to work on our patience and let those opportunities build naturally.”
Streetonians take on UCS Old Boys at Hackney Marshes on Saturday.