Deepings vs Rugby St Andrews 1's
First League game and the journey begins.
Deepings 14 Rugby St Andrews 67
Counties 3 Midlands East (South)
After two successful pre-season victories over Old Leamingtonians 2nd and Shottery, Saints started their league campaign with a trip to Lincolnshire to face Deepings for the first time in a number of years with a squad containing 5 debutants.
Saints didn’t make the best of starts on a warm sunny afternoon when the hosts cut through for a converted try after 4 minutes. The scores were soon level when captain George Headley cut a good line to score under the posts with Joe Hudson adding the conversion. Saints took the lead when winger Elliot Hudson made an excellent break down the wing with his pace taking him past a number of defenders before being caught by the covering defence but his inside pass found Jack Kettleborough who crossed wide out with Joe Hudson adding the extras. After a water break Saints stepped up a gear with the forwards making good yards with some dominant carries and the backs using the space that was created well. Kalum Goodfellow was next to cross when he picked up from a ruck 15 metres out. The backs were then back of the scoresheet with a quickfire double from winger Ben Davison which secured a bonus point after half an hour, with half time approaching prop Carl Lopeman crossed for a try with debutant James Carty also crossing with Joe Hudson adding both conversions to give Saints a healthy 43-7 lead at half time.
Deepings again scored first after the restart with Saints failing to deal with a speculative kick from defence which allowed the hosts to retain possession before another kick bounced into the hands of an onrushing forward to double the hosts score. Saints then passed through the 50 point barrier after a good break and a series of forward drives resulted in a penalty try for a high tackle as Deepings tried to stop Joe Hudson from grounding the ball. Saints struggled to break down a determined home defence which lead to a loss of focus while in possession and a loss of discipline that allowed Deeping to clear their lines when under pressure. Elliot Hudson then crossed for deserved try on the hour mark as Saints regained their composure, a further try followed wide out before prop Carl Lopeman raced through a gap in the home 22 to cross for his second try of the afternoon converted by Jack Kettleborough to finish the game.
A good start to the season claiming a bonus point win on the road but Saints will need to keep focused and follow the plans they have been working hard on in pre-season as sterner tests will follow in the coming weeks