Firsts take off on Druids
Strong performance all over the field yields 47-12 win
By: Peter Boer
| Posted: Wednesday, Jul 18, 2012 06:00 am
After two matches this season in which the scores between St. Albert and the Druids have never been separated by more than three points, St. Albert’s first 15 stepped up with a dominating 47-12 win on home field Saturday.
It was in the second half, when the temperature on the field actually dropped, and with the Druids’ bench depleted by injury that St. Albert started finding the try line often, seemingly at will.
“I think there was just a desire to want to play and have good game of rugby,” said coach Gareth Scott. “There was a focus right from the start to play and they just put it together. They relished going into contact, everyone wanted the ball, they were hungry to take the ball on and eventually the Druids wore down. Then the holes appear.”
Led by three tries by outside-centre Adam Higgins, as well as two from eight-man Kyle Balliey and the presence of national team member Andy Tiedemann at loosehead prop, the firsts ran over the Druids, who were forced to play with only 14 men on the field for the last 10 minutes due to injuries.
“I couldn’t pick out anything in particular. We were just solid, a perfect game really,” Higgins said. “Pretty thrilled all around, just thrilled for the lads.”
It was Higgins who opened the scoring in the first as he took a pass and scampered up the left side of the field, curling in to put the ball down between the posts for a 7-0 lead. Higgins scored again off a lineout minutes later to double the score.
While the Druids narrowed the lead to 14-7, Balliey was quick to reply, sneaking out from behind a maul off a lineout. A wind gust drove the unsuccessful convert by flyhalf Andrew Marsden, a call-up from the seconds, into the post.
Higgins was as willing to dish off the ball as he was to take it, tossing a pass to tighthead prop Luke Racine, also the man of the match, to put St. Albert up 26-7 shortly after halftime.
“He’s a big solid boy. You can see how well he runs and we’ve specifically designed plays in and round the lineout with him in mind,” Scott said. “Today was just more than I could have imagined or expected from him. He scrummaged extremely well and it was great to see him run the ball.”
Higgins, after putting down another try to make the score 33-7, also played well with left-wing Matt Jarvis, who took a Higgins’ pass in for the try that made it 40-7 for St. Albert. The two spent most of the game side by side, with each springing the other for strong runs.
“Adam’s pretty easy to play with,” Racine said. “He breaks pretty good lines and you’ve just got to follow him and make sure you run the support lines. Really he’s not hard to play with. He does a lot of the work for you.”
And Balliey had the last score of the game after an unconverted try by the Druids, snatching the ball out of a scrum near the Druids’ line and running it in for the try.
“We got a bit of a breeze and they’ve got some strong kickers that put pressure on our back three and our back three did really well, especially with a bit of a breeze coming this way,” Scott said. “They did really well grabbing loose balls, taking the high ball and taking it back into contact.”
Up next for St. Albert’s first 15 will be a road game against the Calgary Hornets, to date undefeated on the season.
“It’s just going to be work as usual during the week. Hopefully we can take a strong squad down there. It’s always tough getting off the bus and then getting in the field but if we get there early enough and get ready, we can give them a good game,” Scott said.