Alcester maintain unbeaten home run with victory over Rugby St Andrews
ALCESTER continued their unbeaten home run on Saturday with a dominant display over Rugby St Andrews, running in seven tries for a 43-5 victory.
After an unexpected flurry of snowfall earlier in the morning, the conditions were cold and bitter but the ground was more than playable.
Despite the drop in temperature, more than 100 people graced the sidelines, including the pleasant return of some old faces.
Alcester were dominant from the off, with the majority of the first half being played in Rugby’s territory.
However, they missed their first opportunity for points, as the penalty kick went wide of the uprights.
Antony Cauvin opened the scoring, swiftly followed across the whitewash by captain Max Biltcliffe who doubled Alcester’s lead.
The intensity remained high as both teams were keen to keep moving and warm.
Jamie Harland paired his infamous pace with upper body strength to make a break in defence and hand off several chasing defenders, he off-loaded to Gough who ran in support to finish off the move. Gough successfully converted his own try.
Rugby seemed spurred on by the third try and had their first period of sustain pressure camped on Alcester’s line.
The defence kept tight but gave away one too many penalties in the red zone before it was Phill Birks who was shown a yellow card and took one for the team’s persistent infringements.
With the strength of the extra man, St Andrews capitalised and finally crashed over the whitewash from short range.
Alcester reinstated their assertiveness on the game with a very well-worked move at the line-out which had come straight from the training field, and delighted coach David Miles.
Biltcliffe ran a line back in front of the line-out and scored Alcester’s bonus-point try.
There was still time for another try before half-time, courtesy of Lewis Walker who outpaced several opponents on the far wing to score his first of the match. Gough converted the difficult touchline kick.
The home side had a healthy 29-5 lead at the break whilst players and supporters a like were quick to reside back in the clubhouse for five minutes to warm up before taking on the second 40.
Shortly into the second half, St Andrews found themselves a man down with their fly-half shown a yellow card and much like the reverse situation in the first half, Alcester capitalised with the extra man.
After a great piece of continuity play, helped by the flow that scrum half Robbie Parker brings to the game, the ball found itself out wide to Walker, who raced over the line and then back towards the posts to help for an easy conversion.
Midway through the second half, the ref branded a red card towards Rugby St Andrews for the use of feet on a player, in old-school style rucking which is now illegal in the game.
Alcester battled on, confident that the win was secured. Both Biltcliffe and Walker were unlucky not to secure their hat-tricks, but after coming close on several occasions, Jack Green was finally rewarded for his efforts and crossed the line for Alcester’s seventh try.
In an afternoon of bad luck for the opposition, they appeared to have crossed the line for a last minute consolation try but the ball had been knocked on in the process.
Alcester moved up two league positions after their win to fifth, and take on tenth-placed Southam this Saturday hoping to win their first game away from home this season.