Rugby St Andrews 1's vs Rugby Lions
A local derby, is always fun...
Rugby St Andrews 48 Rugby Lions 12
Counties 3 East (South)
Saints recorded a bonus point win in their first home league game of the season against local rivals Rugby Lions in front of a large crowd to maintain the top spot in the league on points difference.
Saints opened the scoring through a penalty from Jack Kettleborough after 4 minutes and with their larger pack winning ball began to create chances in the back line with no reward. The opening try arrived mid-way through the half, after a missed penalty kick Saints opted to kick to the corner. The pack cleanly won the lineout and proceeded to drive the Lions back over their line for Jake Gregory to claim the try. The restart failed to go the required ten metres giving Saints a scrum on halfway, they broke down the left channel with Ryan Taylor feeding Full Back Jack Kettleborough who cut a good line and his pace did the rest as he crossed under the post for a try which he also converted. The forwards continued to dominate and as Saints kicked penalties to the corner allowing the forwards to provide the next 2 tries with identical catch and drive lineouts, firstly Tim Pitman crossed before Todd Spencer added another try on the stroke of halftime with Jack Kettleborough adding a conversion to give Saints a 27-0 lead at the break with the try bonus point secured.
Saints extended their lead 10 minutes into the second half with Todd Spencer claiming his second try of the afternoon after another successful catch and drive from the lineout. Replacement Fly Half Chris Halcrow then quickly added another try when he chipped over the onrushing Lions' defence and won the race to collect the loose ball to cross under the posts, with both tries converted.
To their credit Lions continued to threaten with some powerful runs testing the Saints' defence but as the game wore on their discipline started to slip as it had done the previous week allowing the Lions to cross for a converted try mid-way through the half. With 5 minutes remaining Lions powerfully drove over for a second try after a series of forward drives had been thwarted illegally.
Saints though claimed the final score of the afternoon with the last play of the game, a good break into the Lions' 22 was followed by a series of pick-and-go drives from the pack with Tim Pitman finally crossing after a good inside pass from Dave Rudd.
A satisfying league victory over their local rivals maintains the top spot in the league on points difference from Northampton BBOB who are the only other team to record two victories in the opening 2 matches.
This weekend Saints travel to South Leicester who won on the opening day of the season before suffering defeat at Northampton Mens Own.