The atrocious weather seemed to follow St. Ives 2nds to Rushden, and remained for the whole of the 80 minute encounter.
It was going to be a tough game for the this youthful Bulls team, against a very big and experienced Rushden team. The weather played a massive part on handling skills for both teams, with St. Ives playing the better rugby from the start.
The Bulls made the first gain line break when Olivier found space in midfield , he made a 25 metre run only to be stopped in the Rushden 22, the ball came back to St. Ives to set up another ruck and from there Olivier took the pass and scored taking several Rushden defenders with him. Missed conversion , but a 5 to 0 lead to St. Ives.
The lead didn’t last long when Rushden had their first real attack, with the St. Ives back line buying a dummy, from the resulting break Rushden were stopped 5 metres short by a try saving tackle by Ollie Watts, only for Rushden to score from the next phase. Try converted , 7 to 5 to the hosts.
The next attack by St. Ives saw Cox sell a dummy and make a break for the corner, and under tremendous pressure from the defenders, Cox scored in the corner. Try unconverted score 7 to 10.
St. Ives were now passing the ball well considering the conditions, and Tirant made a break down the blindside to score but the TJ’s flagged signalled a foot in touch.
With pressure building on the hosts, they were given a 22m drop out following a penalty kick going too long. From the 22 kick the ball eventually fell to Tom Watts who handed off two players to score in the corner. Cox scored the conversion with the kick of the day to make the score 7 to 17.
St. Ives applied more pressure on Rushden with the hosts skewing a kick from their own 22, Davison picked up the scraps , popped the ball to Vivers, who made a direct run for the line and score. Cox converted to make the score 7 to 24.
With the longest 1st half ever drawing to a close Rushden kept possession winning several penalty decisions. Eventually Rushden ran the ball through the backs and managed to score. Try unconverted and half time score 12 to 24.
The first five minutes of the 2nd half decided the game with a tremendous burst of energy by St. Ives at the start of the half.
Mundy made a great break through the Rushden defence, followed by a break by Ollie Watts to be eventually tackled in the Rushden 22, great support by Alexander et al, ensured the Blues kept possession. From the ruck the ball went through the hands for Peach to score under the posts. Cox converted, score 12 to 31.
From the kick off Ollie Watts ran through the defence and drew the last defender to pass to Vivers who then touched down under the posts. Cox converted, score 12 to 38.
Almost deja-vous with Mundy making the break from the kick off, this time passing to Cox to score. Cox conversion, score 12 to 38.
The score should have been higher with Proctor being denied a try after a forward pass and Vivers being denied a hattrick, after being penalised for ripping the ball out of a tackle with a swinging arm. Ironic when Rushden’s number 21 had swinging arms at every breakdown, and managed to escape both penalties and cards!
With players tiring , Shire sidestepped his way down the left wing, and was just held up as he tried to touchdown. From the resulting goal line drop out the ball was caught by Wadd who ran the ball back to Rushden from the resulting tackle and ruck, Cox found Sykes who made a break and passed to Ruddock to score. Cox converted.
Final score 12 to 52.