Second half power play wins it for Saints!
Hesitant start but strong finish gives Saints second bonus point victory.
St. Albans played host to Hitchin RFC in the first home League fixture of the season.
Although there was an improvement on last week’s game where Saints were slow in getting started, it was still ponderous with slack passing affecting fluency and momentum.
St. Albans opened the scoring after 20 minutes with a try from Shaun Rafter, following some good open play. Hitchin responded but resolute defence from Saints impeded their endeavours, however the visitors got their rewards with a converted try to give them the edge.
Saints became frustrated and discipline slipped leading to a series of penalties and a “yellow card” for skipper Tony Stevenson. At the break Hitchin were in the ascendency with a 5 – 7 lead.
Following the restart, the visitors extended their advantage with another penalty, but this was to be their last score of the game as St. Albans now took control.
Saints moved up a gear and started to dominate the set pieces with their tight play causing Hitchin real problems. Aaron James-Nicholas drove over for a well deserved try which was converted by George Elliott.
St. Albans extended their lead with try’s from George Elliott and Jacob Swain, as the visitors struggled to cope with the sustained pressure. The home side were firing on all cylinders and dominating all phases of the match as well as showing excellent fitness and resolve.
Ryan Clarke had a fine game at fullback, with sound defence and an eye for attack, young Harry Atherton produced a strong performance in his debut senior rugby game, and enjoyed being part of a dominant pack.
Next week St. Albans travel to Wasps for another testing encounter.