Walden march on in league
Saffron Walden 13 Braintree 6 Saffron Walden Rugby Club s winning run continued against Braintree on Saturday. In a scrappy game, the hosts defence held firm in the closing stages to take the London Three NE points. It was the kind of match we have to wi
Saffron Walden 13 Braintree 6
Saffron Walden Rugby Club's winning run continued against Braintree on Saturday.
In a scrappy game, the hosts defence held firm in the closing stages to take the London Three NE points.
"It was the kind of match we have to win if we want to finish in the top five, so it was pleasing we did that," said captain Paul Marshall.
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"We had to grind it out and it wasn't pretty, but when we got a chance to play rugby, we were well above the standard of Braintree.
"The forwards deserve a mention as they defended many line-outs and scrums very well and aggressively and when they spun the ball out to the backs they were equal to anything Braintree could throw at them.
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"We have now won four and drawn one from out last five games, which is a good position to be in."
Walden had the wind behind them in the first half and they took the lead after 10 minutes when Tom Hughes kicked a penalty after the visitors had been adjudged offside.
The hosts soon took the play back into the Braintree half and it took great support by the forwards to eventually score.
The backs had created an attack out wide on the left and quick ball found hooker Glen Peck who broke two tackles before off loading to number eight Andrew Wisbey, who made a further five metres before being tackled. Flanker Andrew Lancaster was in support and took the pop pass to run under the posts, for a converted try after 18 minutes.
Walden were unable to add to the score for the rest off the half although there was a number of opportunities.
In the second half, with the strong wind behind them, Braintree sensed that the game was theirs for the taking, but a determined Walden side had other ideas.
Despite playing against the wind in the second half, Walden managed to take the first points of the half when Braintree were penalised for an infringement at the breakdown 25 metres out and Hughes kicked to take the score to 13-0.
Unfortunately, around the 50th minute the weather closed in and heavy rain and hail spoiled any chance of an open game.
The visitors adapted to the worsening conditions the better and kicked a penalty from in front of the posts when Walden were penalised for being off side.
Braintree dominated the rest of the game, but magnificent defence kept the visitors at bay when they repeatedly attacked the home team's line.
Several penalties were spurned, but eventually, after 70 minutes, Mark Walden gave a penalty away for diving over the ball 10 metres out in front of the posts, and Braintree took the points leaving them needing one score to level the game.
However, Walden's defence held firm with some great tackling and good discipline denying Braintree any further chances.
Saffron Walden are without a game on Saturday, they are next in action on December 15, when they visit Harlow.
"We beat them at home, which started our run into Christmas, so there is no reason we can't beat them away," said Marshall.