RUGBY: Rare opening day victory for Rugby St Andrews

Rugby St Andrews 2nd XV before their game with Harbury
Rugby St Andrews 2nd XV before their game with Harbury

Great weekend for Saints 2nd XV and Under 16s

Pictures of the 2nd XV by Brian Dainty

Saints 2nds on their way to victory against Harbury   Pictures by Brian Dainty

Saints 2nds on their way to victory against Harbury Pictures by Brian Dainty

Berkswell & Balsall 15 Rugby St Andrews 17

Midlands 3 West (South)

Saints kicked off their league campaign with a trip to Berkswell in the opening round and showed great determination to return with a narrow victory. They opted to play up the slope and into the sun in the first half and the opening exchanges were relatively even with Saints applying pressure to the Berkswell defence but were not able to find a way through. Berkswell were peppering Saints with high kicks to try and make ground but Full Back Ryan Taylor fielded everything that came his way and was able to launch counter attacks to keep Berkswell on the back foot. The game swung in favour of the hosts on 15 minutes when the referee issued a yellow card to Saints for a high tackle, Berkswell kicked the resulting penalty to the corner and took advantage of their numerical superiority in the forwards to drive over for a try. Five minutes later Berkswell turned over possession and a quick blind side break resulted in a second unconverted try. For the remainder of the half both sides created chances but failed to convert them as the hosts took a 10-point lead into half time.

Saints roared out the blocks at the restart forcing several penalties in the Berkswell 22 which resulted in the hosts receiving a team warning. Saints kept up the pressure by kicking the penalty to the corner and comfortably won the line out before setting up the drive which was illegally halted with the ref immediately awarding a penalty try just two minutes into the half. Saints continued to apply the pressure and Berkswell were temporarily reduced to 14 but Saints failed to make the most of the advantage. A penalty on the hour was again kicked to touch and Saints cleanly secured the lineout just outside the Berkswell 22 but an excellent drive pushed the hosts back towards their own line and the backs added some extra weight, which resulted in a second try scored by Brandon Glover, converted by Will Morgan to give Saints the lead for the first time. The game continued to flow with both defences on top but with five minutes remaining Saints were caught cold. Berkswell broke down the blind side deep in their half but when the ball was dropped Saints stopped playing but the ref had been unsighted and the hosts recovered possession and broke quickly to create a 3 on 1, the final pass looked forward but again play continued and Berkswell claimed a third try this time under the posts, the conversion was missed to give Saints some hope as they trailed by a single point. They threw everything they had at the home side and a sniping run from Will Morgan took play deep into the 22 and when he was caught Berkswell were penalized at the resulting ruck, Will Morgan picked himself up and duly dispatched the penalty between the posts which was quickly followed by the final whistle as the large travelling support celebrated an opening day league victory for the first time in a number of years.

Quick hands against Harbury

Quick hands against Harbury

Man of the Match – Ryan Taylor

Saints have another week off this week before entertaining Burbage in their fist home league of the season the following week.

Scorers: Tries: Penalty, Brandon Glover, Conversion: Will Morgan, Penalty: Will Morgan

Harbury 2nd XV 11 Rugby St Andrews 2nd XV 41

Action from the 2nds' 41-11 win

Action from the 2nds' 41-11 win

Warwickshire League

The seconds were also on the road for their opening league game of the season and secured a far more comfortable victory, crossing for seven tries. The returning Tom White crossed for two with Max Carlton, Gauthier Arnoux, Patrick Howard, Kurt Morgan and Joe Hudson adding the others with Hudson and Howard kicking three conversions between them.

Man of the Match – Gauthier Arnoux (Proudly sponsored by LevyTate

Rugby St Andrews Under 16s

Saints 2nd XV started their season with a Warwickshire League win

Saints 2nd XV started their season with a Warwickshire League win

Rugby St Andrew's under 16s hosted Earlsdon for their first game of the season after a long and intense pre-season of training.
It has certainly paid off as they put in a performance of the highest quality in all departments, and the crowd were in awe of the improvement shown. Every last man supported each other throughout the game and the teamwork was impeccable and this shone through in a 57-5 victory.
Earlsdon were no pushovers and had actually beaten St Andrew's the season before. They battled to the end and eventually managed to score a try with the last play of the match.

Man of the match was Toby Lafferty, but this could have gone to anyone as the whole team were that good.

Try scorers were: Ollie Shaw 2, Toby Lafferty 2, Captain Joel Dixon, Callum Barnes, Harry Goldthorp, Midas Kenny, Jack Kettleborough

Conversions: Jack Kettleborough 6

The U16s are always looking for new players to join our friendly squad. For more information please contact Rugby St Andrews RFC and ask for U16s Head Coach, Steve Kettleborough either by phone, email or via our website

Rugby St Andrews Under 16s

Rugby St Andrews Under 16s