Saints run riot against Nigerians
London Two North West St Albans 46 London Nigerian 17 It was as if the shackles were off for St Albans on a fine afternoon at Boggymead Spring on Saturday. Having secured their league status last week, Saints produced a brand of entertaining rugby rarely
London Two North West
St Albans 46
London Nigerian 17
It was as if the shackles were off for St Albans on a fine afternoon at Boggymead Spring on Saturday.
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Having secured their league status last week, Saints produced a brand of entertaining rugby rarely seen during what has been a tough season.
The first 10 minutes would give no clue of what was to come.
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London Nigerians, with three fixtures remaining and needing to win at least two of these to have any chance of staying up, started the game like they meant business. Their slippery backs looked very dangerous, especially from broken play.
However, Saints managed to repel the attacks and with the help of a couple of decent touch finds soon found themselves in opposition territory.
With their first set move St Albans opened their account with a wonderfully worked try. A clean take from the line-out and the ball was quickly spun to stand-off Charlie Howard.
The dummy runners in the centre did their jobs to create a gaping hole for wing Ed Coy to exploit. His searing pace took him clean through and with only the full-back to beat he fed Mark Kentish, supporting well on the outside, to score unchallenged.
This quality score seemed to give Saints belief that this was to be their day, whilst also knocking the stuffing out of the West London side, who had started brightly.
As the half continued, Saints seemed to able to score at will. All the set moves, practiced so painstakingly on the training park, were coming off.
When Nigerian did have possession, the Saints defence didn't just hold them at bay, they hassled and harried and turned over ball with alacrity.
Many times during the season it has been the power of the forwards that has paid off for Saints, but on this occasion it was the backs chance to shine.
Further tries from Coy, Howard, Doug Morete and flanker Dave Stanford rounded off a fine half. Although a late try from the away side showed that they hadn't given up.
In fact, after an early second half try from Coy, and with Saints 34-5 to the good, they seemed to take their respective feet off the gas, thus handing the initiative back to Nigerian. This passage of play proved how dangerous in attack the away side could be when the defence wasn't quite as tenacious as it had been early on.
The Nigerian backs twice cut through the once solid defence of the home side and were fully deserving of their scores, coming either side of Coy's hat-trick try.
The scoreboard remained at 39-17 for some time before in the closing stages impressive Saints scrum-half Pete Hissey finished off a superb team try.
It was difficult to single out any one individual for player of the match amongst what was an excellent all round team performance but the coaches gave it to prop Brenton Lemiere for both exciting carrying in attack and some crunching defensive hits.
Overall the win, by eight tries to three, was a fair reflection on the game but Saints management will wonder why it has taken until the penultimate league game of the season to hit top form.
St Albans: Kentish, Coy, Alderton, Morete, Dickinson, Howard, Hissey; Kilgallon, Callan, Lemiere, C Huddleston, Sayers, Stanford, Bickle, Joubert. Reps - M Huddleston, Styles, Lister.