Rugby St Andrews 1's vs South Leicester
Rugby St Andrews 50 South Leicester 13
Counties 3 East (South)
Saints maintained their unbeaten start to the league campaign with an excellent first half display which saw them cross for 8 tries, the second half was a completely different affair with Saints ringing the changes to allow some players extended playing time and South Leicester lifting their game to win the second half and keep Saints from scoring any further points.
Saints opened the scoring after 7 minutes with their pack dominating the opening exchanges winning good ball inside their own half before releasing the backs, captain George Headley cut a superb line to ghost through the visitors’ defence before drawing the full back and passing back inside to centre partner Joe Hudson to run in under the posts. With the forwards winning quick ball the backs had time and space to capitalise on the advantage with good passing exploiting gaps in the defence and the pace out wide making good ground. Returning winger Ben Davison crossed for 3 tries in the space of 12 minutes to secure the bonus point score with just 22 minutes played. South Leicester had kicked a penalty on a rare visit into Saints 22 but Saints had dominated the opening quarter. The rest of the first half belonged to Saints, Toby Lafferty on his last game for Saints before he goes off travelling was first to react to an overthrow at a South Leicester line out claiming the loose ball to power over for a try. Jack Kettleborough was next to cross after some slick passing from the backs before the forwards register another try, again good passing in the wide channel from the backs exploited a gap in the defence before a series of inside passes found the supporting flanker Matt Phipps who crossed for the try. With half time approaching winger Ben Davison was on hand to score his fourth try of the afternoon with Chris Halcrow adding five conversions to bring up the 50 points.
The second half was completely different as the home support expected more of the same but to their credit South Leicester upped their game, putting in some big tackles and competing well with Saints to slow down their possession. A number of changes from Saints seemed to affect their cohesion and rhythm but was valuable for the squad players to gain some playing time. South Leicester deservedly crossed for two tries and managed to keep Saints at bay to claim the second half.
With Northampton BBOB also claiming a bonus point win Saints maintain their 8-point lead at the top of league after 10 games, this week they will make their first ever trip to Castle Donnington for a rearranged game that fell victim to the weather before Christmas before a tricky trip to Stamford College Old Boys the week after.