Stunning second half hands Saffron Walden a big bonus-point win over Wanstead

Charlie Potter claims another line-out for Saffron Walden against Wanstead.

Charlie Potter claims another line-out for Saffron Walden against Wanstead. - Credit: SAFFRON WALDEN RFC

Saffron Walden bounced back from a disappointing defeat at Wymondham thanks to a superb second-half display at home to Wanstead.

The 30-3 victory in London Two North East saw the hosts score 27 points without reply, sealing a bonus point in the process and moving up to fifth in the table.

Saffron Walden captain Tom Pryke receives the congratulations of Wanstead.

Saffron Walden captain Tom Pryke receives the congratulations of Wanstead. - Credit: SAFFRON WALDEN RFC

The sparkling second period was in complete contrast to the opening 40 minutes.

Walden had marginally the better opportunities and might have scored couple of tries wide out had the final passes gone to hand.

As it was Tom Price kicked a penalty after 15 minutes from in front of the posts, Wanstead having strayed offside, before the visitors levelled when Walden were penalised for a high tackle.

The best chance to bag a try came five minutes from the break.

A quick tap-penalty in front of the posts saw a Wanstead player make a tackle without retreating the required 10 metres.

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He was shown a yellow for his troubles but when Walden went for another tap, they fluffed their lines and it was cleared.

But Walden quickly took advantage of their extra man after the restart and after several phases Mark Kimberley spotted an overload on the right and chipped towards the corner.

Vili Navia was quickly on to the perfectly-weighted kick, diving over in the corner to put Walden ahead again.

Over the next 15 minutes Walden's defence effectively stopped Wanstead from getting on the front foot and gradually started to dominate.

Another penalty was given in front of the posts and this time they went for the kick, putting them 11-3 up.

The final 10 minutes saw Walden run riot.

They scored their second try with a series of close range drives, prop James Bovaird the man to eventually score from the back of a ruck with this effort being converted.

Straight from the restart Walden worked the ball into space and a fine break from Kimberly with Ollie Webber on his shoulder saw a simple pass give the left winger space to gallop over the halfway line and score unopposed.

Wanstead looked to score a consolation try in the final minute of the game and worked the ball into the Walden 22 but the home defence held firm again and with the watch in red, Walden turned the ball over five metres from their own line and were then awarded a penalty.

Knowing that they needed one more try to secure the bonus point, they launched a stunning attack from under their own posts.

Kimberley chipped over the top of the onrushing defence and man of the match Beau Longeretti was first to the ball.

Quick thinking saw the forwards and backs combine with some well-executed passes and with Webber supporting on the right, he took the final pass to secure a great afternoon.

Head Coach Neil Gaffan was particularly pleased how the players stuck to the game plan. Special mentions were given to debutant scrum-half Tommy Allbright and Nik Baker, playing out of position at hooker.

Next week Walden travel to Chelmsford for a 2.30pm kick off and all support is welcome.

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