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Under 16s Match Reports, 2015

Stanley Rangers U16s 24 v Castleford PanthersU16s 0
BARLA XAMAX National Under 16 Cup, Round One

A great performance from Stanley saw them keep the visitors scoreless and progress to the next round of the national Cup.

Rangers started strongly with some big hits in defence from Tom Sowerby and Reiss Butterworth, backed up by the strong running of Charlie Holland and Connor Hampson. Playing down hill, Panthers tried to gain momentum but the Rangers' defence allowed little progress and the home side regained possession near halfway. Good running by Tommy Gant and Liam Kirkness took Rangers up field, and quick handling from Butterworth and Matty Hobson gave Ryan Strafford space to test the Panthers' defence. Rangers finished the set with another well-placed kick, containing Panthers near their line. Castleford then moved the ball quickly and found some space outside to break free, however, Brandon Warrior was on hand for the home side to produce a crunching tackle to prevent a certain try. The game was turning into a tough battle now with both sets of forwards battling to gain advantage. Rangers showed aggression and determination in defence, forcing errors from Panthers and allowing them to regain possession. A break by Jordan O'Neill then set Stanley on the attack and Strafford again found space after quick handling, unfortunately slipping and allowing the Castleford defence to make the tackle. Rangers moved towards the try line and then a quick play the ball which llowed Matty Hobson to pick up and dart away from the defenders before dummying his way through for the opening try. Reiss Butterworth converted to make it 6-0.

Rangers continued to frustrate the visitors with their defence and this was beginning to show as Panthers started to lose their discipline. Unfortunately Rangers couldn't capitalise on this and the score at half time was 6-0.

Rangers started the second half well, playing downhill and made it difficult for Panthers to progress up field with some clever kicking by Hobson and Butterworth. Will Dagger was lively for Panthers but Rangers contained him with some good tackling from Ryan Butterworth and Hobson. Rangers looked dangerous in attack with Sowerby lively from dummy half, causing problems for the Panthers defence.Strong runs from Ben Taylor and Mark Cocker attracted the defenders and Rangers began to find holes in the Panthers defence. A quick play the ball allowed Sowerby to dart away and he then dummied his way through the defence to break away. Lewis Fletcher was in support and he drew the defender away as Sowerby accelerated to dive over in the corner. Butterworth was successful with the conversion to make it 12-0.

The re-start went out on the full and so Stanley started with a penalty on halfway. The forwards were now dominating the game and Gant, Holland and Hampson set the platform with some great drives. Rangers pressed the Panthers line and Sowerby kicked from dummy half and was quick to react as the Panthers defender knocked on. Sowerby dived on the loose ball to score and take Rangers further into the lead. Again Butterworth converted making the score 18-0.

Rangers were now showing some great skill and a clever kick from Butterworth nearly resulted in a try for Kirkness but he just couldn't ground the ball. Panthers tried to break through but the Rangers defence was holding firm, forcing Panthers to kick early in the hope of breaking through. Ryan Butterworth positioned himself well and diffused each kick that came his way, and his aggressive returns turned defence into attack. Panthers then regained possession breaking through out wide only for the Rangers defence to scramble back. Stanley was determined not to concede any points and good defence from Alex Clegg and Lewis Fletcher contained the Panthers attack resulting in a handover. Quick hands by Corey Eaton then gave Fletcher space out wide to move down field and set Rangers on the attack. The ball was then moved out wide and Hobson found Butterworth who took on the line and darted through finding Strafford in support to race clear and score. Again the kick was successful taking the score to 24-0. That was the final action from the game as Stanley's superb performance earned them a place in the next round.

With a big crowd watching the game, Rangers showed their potential for the forthcoming season.

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