Saxons claim first away win in emphatic style
A fantastic all round performance from the lads delivered the win and a great confidence boost away from home.
Without a win on the road and after a brilliant training session on Thursday, the lads were pumped and ready for the fixture. In the warm up we noted Ely had a large pack so we knew we had an arm wrestle at the beginning to establish control of the game. But, with patience and control our fitness should tell and we should dominate.
Walden started very well, showing speed to the ball and real intent on the game plan. A few silly errors crept in to prevent an early opening but we looked very strong in all set pieces and confidence was growing at the breakdown after the first 10 minutes. Needing to use width, Saxons took the attack down the left flank to stretch open Ely, before moving swiftly right and into the hands of Joe Starbuck on the right wing for a very good finish, evading a few defenders on the way over after 14 mins. A calm head on young shoulders. Walden had taken a while to settle into the match but after the try the belief grew, the Saxons sowing more control an patience. It took until 30 mins for another score, this time Karl Tagg powering over to score just left of the posts, Dan Rust adding the extras. Karl had settled quickly into the game with some real presence around the breakdown. It remained 12-0 until half-time, a chance for a quick chat to emphasise area to improve, (line-speed and support).
The second half continued much in the same way, Walden dominating all set piece, stealing most of the Ely lineout and hooking their scrum put in but errors preventing conversion of pressure into points. Walden did then build right up to the Ely line, eventually Gordon going over from a good 7 inches so take the score. Ely responded well, taking advantage of Walden being slightly slower than normal to organise in defence, driving phases down the left flank to score and bring the match to 7-17; we couldn't afford to let another score in at this stage and let Ely back in the game.
Ely were fighting hard but looking tired and with Walden continuing the win set pieces we controlled the game and territory. Jono was breaking the gain line in open play at will, Rob Nolan being as feisty as ever in his ball carrying and breakdown work. Sam tackled brilliantly, Dan Cohan an all-round threat and JP at the heart of everything with some exceptional ball protection. This led to a series of tries from Dan C,Rusty, Jono and Rusty again, after the most extraordinary run from George, leaving three Ely players grabbing air and on the ground whilst Rusty sealed the final score. We even won the beer race! Elliot had his first game for the Saxons and was voted MoM, a superb performance at 13. Well done to all the players, Rob Nolan deserves special mention for agreeing to play at late notice in one of his final games before he moves away. Joe led the team well, the young lads looking like seasoned players alongside the more experienced. Very well done lads, our first win on the road and a great boost for the season.