Picture galleries: Rugby: Saffron Walden’s 10-try haul overwhelms Basildon
09:03 25 March 2014
Saffron Walden wrapped up their home fixtures for the season with a powerhouse half half display that overwhelmed Basildon.
They got the ball rolling after six minutes when second row James Gosden went over in the corner.
With the wind behind them Walden found it difficult to breakdown the Basildon defence, and it took a further 15 minutes before one of several breaks finally paid off. Winger David Patch made a break on the blind side, cut inside and passed to captain Adam Miles who cantered over to score near the posts. Tom Price kicked the conversion.
Basildon had some good periods of play and had a spell camped on the home team’s try line, but some determined Walden defence held firm. It was probably the only time the visitors looked like scoring during the entire game.
Walden’s third try came on the half-hour mark as another kick to the corner resulted in a line-out close to the Basildon try line. A fine catch and drive ended with Gosden stretching out and touching the ball down on the line.
Despite the comfortable advantage, harsh words were said to the Walden players at half time, with the emphasis on cutting down on the penalties and playing more intelligent rugby.
And it worked wonders. The bonus point try came after 12 minutes as Miles carved through a gap to score under the posts for his second.
Suddenly the floodgates opened and for the last 20 minutes there was a succession of tries as Walden scored an average one every three minutes. Winger Ben Stapleton scored a hat-trick, and centre Mark Kimberly twice. Fly-half Tom Hughes controlled the game playing like an American Football quarter back, unleashing the backs with long passes and raking kicks and finding time to go through a gap himself to score under the posts.
The one forward to get into the act was flanker Sam Eardley as yet another driving maul went over the line.
Three scores from driving mauls must be a first for the pack and shows the step change this year by the forwards which is laying the foundation for the team’s success.
Walden now face three tricky away games, starting at South Woodham Ferrers on Saturday.