GALLERY: Defence shines but St Albans fail to threaten Staines

The ball goes loose

The ball goes loose - Credit: Archant

St Albans’ backs failed to create try-scoring opportunities as they went down 26-6 to Staines at Boggymead in London 2NW.

It was a tough loss for the struggling Saints because their defensive play, which has been their Achilles heel at times this season, stood up to the second best scoring team in the league.

Three late tries saw Staines pick up a bonus point and add gloss to the scoreline but, in truth, St Albans held them in check for long periods of the game.

The hosts took the lead after Staines were caught offside and Mark Kentish kicked the penalty. Led by their backs, Staines threatened to score but St Albans’ defence held firm.

It was eventually breached in the 20th minute by Dan Major and 10 minutes later fly-half Alex Newberry, who had been influential in the first meeting of the teams, added a second to give Staines a 14-3 lead.

St Albans pushed forward looking to close the gap before the break and were duly rewarded when Harry Trude added three points after Staines were caught offside.

The second half was similar to the first with most of the game being played in St Albans’ half. The Saints showed no lack of commitment or ability in defence but failed to create any real attacking opportunities.

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The forwards proved more then a match for Staines in the tight but the back row lacked the penetration to give the opposition’s back line any real concerns. Brenton Lemiere, Jack Middleton and Mike Bennet all put in sterling work and the introduction of Jamie Hissey into the back line did give it some edge, but Staines’ quicksilver set of backs sent Major over for his second and he sealed a five-point win with his hat-trick at the death.

This Saturday, St Albans travel to Hammersmith & Fulham for another tough test against an in-form side.