RUGBY: Rugby St Andrews

Saints and Northampton Casuals in action
Saints and Northampton Casuals in action
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31 points for Taylor in Saints’ 66-7 win over Casuals

Midlands 3 East (South)

Saints and Northampton Casuals in action

Saints and Northampton Casuals in action

Rugy St Andrews 66

Northampton Casuals 7

A virtuoso performance form Ryan Taylor helped Saints to a nine-try victory in front of their appreciative past players, Vice Presidents and sponsors. In an immaculate display, initially at full back and then at fly half, he amassed 31 points from two tries, a penalty and all nine conversions.

Casuals, like Saints are struggling with a long unavailability list, but they still fielded a big pack that created problems with good scrummaging and powerful close range driving. However Saints had more potential match winners in the backs and once in possession showed too much pace and guile for an increasingly beleaguered defence.

Saints and Northampton Casuals in action

Saints and Northampton Casuals in action

A perfectly executed move after only 3 minutes enabled Jamie Clynes to stroll over but the next 30 minutes were dominated by the visitors. Aided by regular infringements and the strong breeze Casuals set up camp in the home 22 and battered away at the defence. A brief foray upfield generated a penalty but this was a short respite and more errors and penalties under pressure led inevitably to a yellow card and then to a penalty try when Saints depleted pack illegally thwarted a push over attempt. Even with limited good possession Saints always threatened when the ball was moved wide through the phases and two tries in quick succession from Tom White and Fraser Caithness opened up a 24-7 lead by half time, albeit against the run of play.

The bonus point fourth try was soon added when Ryan Taylor scythed through, quickly followed by a second when he fielded a scrambled clearance and ran untouched to the line. With the pack finally gaining a measure of control further scores came regularly. Good handling at pace and incisive running lines put Tom White clear for his second try and his third came shortly after when Kallum Goodfellow cleverly stole opposition ball and sent the flying winger in from fully 80 yards. With Casuals tiring Saints capitalised with further tries from Kristen Ennifer and David Rudd to notch up their high score of the season and their fifth consecutive victory.

The win puts Saints ahead of Daventry and into fourth place, just a couple of points ahead of Stockwood Park. Whether they can hang onto that position depends on the outcomes of the final league games. Stockwood face a potentially tricky trip to Saint Ives while Saints will have to wait until May 10 to finally fulfill their home fixture against Stewarts and Lloyds as the Corby side chase the National Vase and promotion double. To secure promotion the visitors will need a bonus point win so they will doubtlessly fired up for the match whatever the outcome of their Vase encounters.

Saints’ forwards will need to up their performance levels and discipline if they are to compete against what is rated as the best pack in the league and give their exciting backs a chance to display their skills

Newbold 2nds 25

Saints 2nds 22

Saints seconds threw away a golden opportunity to topple Newbold’s seconds when a period of sloppy defence let a well deserved 17-8 half time lead slip away.

Saints responded to the home sides penalty and try with tries from Tom Helliwell and Pin Devgun and two conversions and a penalty by Sam White. Newbold regained the lead with 2 converted tries as the ball was moved wide and Saints fell off vital tackles. A penalty stretched their advantage. Saints had plenty of pressure but failed to turn this into points until late in the game when David Hunt touched down from a rehearsed line out move but this was not quite enough.