Saxons turn the tables on Renegades
Steely performance from Saffron Walden 2s brings rewards.
After suffering a mauling away at Cottenham Renegades earlier in the season, the Saxons were looking forward to exacting revenge on the league’s second placed team.
The visitors got the match underway in almost perfect conditions and from the off it was clear that the home side were in no mood to be beasted up front despite the size of the opposition pack.
Cottenham took the lead with a penalty but the Saxons’ riposte was swift as numerous drives by the forwards close to the visitor’s line saw captain, Joe Turner, go over to claim the try with the conversion good. A further penalty from the visitors kept them in touch at 7-6.
Then two tries in quick succession by Cottenham started ringing the alarm bells but the Saxons refused to panic. With halfbacks Dan Rust and Ed Smith directing operations the hosts got up to the visitor’s line and a surge by Adam Smith close in brought a well-deserved try. With Ed Smith converting, the half-time score was 14-16.
Early in the second half Cottenham further extended their lead through another penalty to make it 14-19. Despite battling hard and creating some chances out wide the Saxons couldn’t find a way through and then a rare foray in the Saxons half resulted in another penalty for the away side to take them into an eight point lead.
This only seemed to galvanise the hosts who really started to find some fluency in the backs, with full back Nick Brown capitalizing on some leaky defence to go over from 35 metres, to make the score 19-22.
Then, despite losing the influential James Gosden to the bin for ten minutes, the Saxons produced a wonderfully flowing move down the right, which was nicely finished by Ollie Webber. With their noses in front the hosts could scent victory and another move involving forwards and backs, again down the right, saw the ball reach Webber again, who with a great hand-off darted inside the covering defence to score under the posts to make it 31-22 with the conversion good.
At the final whistle it was celebrations all-round. This was a fine team performance, built on gritty determination, commitment and no lack of skill and flair. Man of the match, Adam Clarke, typified this with his strong running and resolute defence.