RUGBY: Rugby St Andrews

Action from Ashlawn Road - Rugby St. Andrews v Queens.
Action from Ashlawn Road - Rugby St. Andrews v Queens.

Five tries and up to fifth in league

Midlands 3 East (South)

Rugby St Andrews 29

Bedford Queens 10

Saints finally restarted their league campaign after an unscheduled five-week lay-off and produced an excellent all round performance and a convincing five-try win.

Queens are a much improved outfit who narrowly won the earlier fixture but on this occasion they were outplayed in all departments.

Saints’ forwards laid the foundation with aggressive scrummaging and used the driving maul to good effect.

They also achieved greater continuity through the phases before releasing their dangerous backs.

There was a big improvement in defensive organisation which has looked somewhat porous on some occasions.

The pack prevented their opposite numbers from making significant yardage and the backs snuffed out Queens’ potential midfield threat with clinical efficiency.

After a wobbly couple of minutes Saints settled and good handling put Kristen Ennifer clear for the first score.

He looked to have added a second shortly afterwards but was deemed to have been held up in goal.

The pressure was sustained but over eagerness wasted a couple of chances before Ryan Taylor sliced through for a try which he then converted.

Queens were first to score after the break but on the hour Saints ran in three tries in 15 minutes to crush any revival.

Clever running lines and crisp handling opened up the visitors’ defence for Patrick Howard to touch down twice before massive forward pressure sucked in the defenders for Jason Warren to stroll over in the corner.

In the final minute Saints were finally caught out when Queens snatched a late consolation try.

This was the only blemish on a fine team effort in which young flanker Ben Nutt was named Man of the Match for an outstanding display in attack and defence.

Saints’ win over Queens moves them up two places to fifth in the league but they face a stern test this week when they entertain league leaders Leicester Vipers, to whom they lost narrowly in the earlier fixture. However, if they can sustain Saturday’s form a win is certainly achievable.