Rugby St Andrews 1s vs Northampton Mens Own
A Solid Defence
Rugby St Andrews 37 Northampton Mens Own 0
Counties 3 Midlands East (South)
Saints twelfth consecutive victory was based on an impressive defensive display which denied the previous high scoring visitors any points on an afternoon where Saints maintained their position at the top of league.
With the visitors dropping the ball from the kick off it gave the Saints pack an early chance to showcase their powerful scrummaging, driving the visitors backwards to give Saints early front foot ball. This early dominance allowed Saints to open the scoring through a penalty kick from Chris Halcrow after just 3 minutes. Saints forward dominance led to the first try after nine minutes, the pack drove Mens Own off their own scrum ball inside the 22 and Tom Muat picked up from the base of a scrum to make good ground before feeding flanker Ryan Taylor who raced over for a try converted by Chris Halcrow, which was quickly followed by a second penalty from the boot of the returning Chris Halcrow. Men Own then came into the game but strong defensive tackles kept them at bay as the set-up camp in the Saints 22. One such thunderous tackle led to the ball spilling loose metres from the Saints line and winger Ben Davison was first to react, scooping the ball up before setting off a length of the pitch run to score under the posts, converted by Chris Halcrow. Saints were making good half breaks but wrong choices were denying them scoring opportunities as a number of chances were spurned when ball carriers were ignoring the support runners when the overlap had been created. Saints did cross for a third try of the afternoon when the pack took control wining the line out just outside the home 22 and mauling there way to the line for Kalum Goodfellow to power over from close range to give Saints a 25 point advantage at the break.
Saints made a number of changes at half time but made the perfect start to the second half with Ben Davison crossing for a try inside the first couple of minutes to secure the try scoring bonus point. Saints secured a fifth try of the afternoon when forwards and back combined to give new signing John Subong just enough room to squeeze over by the corner flag. The game then petered out with Saints solidly defending to keep the visitors scoreless but failing to capitalise on the chances they were creating.
This bonus point victory maintains Saints 8 point advantage over Northampton BBOB who also claimed a bonus point win after Rugby Lions were unable to field a side. This week Saints make the trip to Castle Donnington for the first meeting between the two clubs with the previous attempts falling victim to the weather. Their host currently occupy fifth palace but have 2 games in hand over most of the side above them and will pose a tricky test for Saints.