HEREFORD RFC suffered the effects of a week plagued by flooding as they fell to a 27-12 defeat by Stoke-on-Trent.
With their Wyeside base out of action last week Hereford ‘s preparation for the tie was impacted.
Despite fighting back into the match against a strong second half wind, Hereford were eventually beaten by two converted scores.
Hereford coach, Alun Richards said: “I was disappointed with the result overall, Stoke were a very physical team and we struggled to manage that in the first half.
“We made lots of mistakes, possibly caused by the week’s training being disjointed, not being able to get on the pitch really affected us.
“We asked for a reaction at half-time, we got that, we got the physicality and we managed to pull the game back around.
“We were able to get ahead, but they used the strong wind in their favour, to push us back into the corners and take advantage of a couple of mistakes.
“I am disappointed with the result but really happy with the boys’ effort particularly in the second half.”
Hereford kicked off with the strong wind at their backs, but failed to take advantage as Stoke kept the ball in hand and put pressure on the visitor’s defence.
The lively Stoke scrum-half picked up a loose ball after a Hereford lineout, to kick ahead and win the race for the touchdown on 11 minutes.
Only three minutes later, Stoke doubled their advantage when their scrum pushed over for a second try, giving them a 10-0 half-time lead.
The Wyesiders started the second period with greater impetus and following some good work by Levi Hughes, Tom Ewins picked up the ball in his own half and with a determined run scored an individual try.
Shortly after, Bryn Goodall put in a well-judged cross kick which found Ewan Proctor, who touched down for the second Hereford try.
Goodall’s conversion gave the visitors a slender two-point lead which was held for less than five minutes, before Hereford conceded a penalty in front of the posts to return the lead to Stoke.
Stoke increased the pressure, using the wind well and added two further tries in the final quarter. Both were converted taking the final score to 27-12.