Defence goes out the window as Saffron Walden hold off Fullerians in barnstormer
PUBLISHED: 14:37 26 October 2016 | UPDATED: 14:37 26 October 2016
Ivan Karsten grabbed four tries as Danny Hunter's Saffron Walden notched their biggest win of the London One North season in an action-packed 71-48 victory over Fullerians at Henham on Saturday.
The visitors began the match by exerting pressure from their pack and from the beginning they were dominating the scrums.
However, after five minutes of pressure on the Walden line, it was the home side that managed to clear their lines, work the ball into the Fullerians half and a neat chip through from fly-half Tom Hughes gave winger Karsten the opportunity to re-gather and open the scoring.
Less than a minute later, Ben Nash had out-paced his opposite number and doubled Walden’s advantage to 14-0 after just 11 minutes.
The visitors’ response was immediate and within four minutes they had worked two neat tries of their own to close the deficit to 14-12 after 16 minutes.
Back came Walden once again with No.8 Brad Baker crashing under the posts on 24 minutes and despite a Fullerians penalty for not rolling away at a ruck, Walden’s dominance continued with further tries from Karsten and Baker to round off an impressive first-half display with a half-time lead of 33-15.
Immediately after half-time, Walden continued where they left off and effectively won the game with four converted tries from scrum half and man of the match Paul Marshall, Karsten, Kiwi debutant Doug Hill and centre Mark Kimberley to lead 59-15 after 55 minutes.
But if the home side thought that their afternoon was done, the visitors had other ideas.
Running the ball at every opportunity, Fullers produced their best rugby of the match with five well-worked tries of their own with only a try from Baker in response.
With the bonus point for four tries secured for the visitors, they sensed the opportunity of a further losing bonus point, dragging themselves back to 64-48 with seven minutes of the match remaining.
However, it was Karsten who was to have the final say in the matter, pouncing on to a loose pass from the Fullerians backs to score his fourth try and round off a thoroughly entertaining victory for Walden.
Walden travel to Brentwood on Saturday for more league action. Kick-off is 3pm.