In near perfect conditions the Saxons proved that Friday 13th needn't be unlucky, putting on an assured performance against a plucky Cantabs side, who beat us twice last season. A nervous first few minutes saw the ball stripped in contact a couple of times but gradually the team grew into the game, putting together some good phases, which nearly resulted in a score when Gordon Leonard went over but was adjudged to have knocked on. There was an unexpected twist in the tale when, despite all the home pressure and possession, Cantabs opened the scoring with a well-worked try from the halfway line, their scrum half making the most of a wheeled scrum and a sleepy defence before putting his team mate through. (0-7)
With Cantabs reduced to 14 men thanks to a yellow card, the Saxons quickly got the script back on track with the immense John Clark going over for two tries in four minutes, the second a pick up from the base of the scrum and a 35-metre sprint into the corner. (10-7)
Within minutes of the restart Saxons dealt Cantabs a severe blow with a superbly worked try down the narrow side, the final pass allowing the immaculately coiffured Rob Booth the space to outflank the defence and run in a try from 45 metres. Conor McCabe added the conversion. (17-7). By now the Saxons pack was in full destructive mode, making metres with the ball in hand, winning line-outs at will and scrummaging with great power and authority. This culminated in a try for winger Nick Brown, after repeated phases near the visitor's line, saw the ball swept left for Nick to race onto it and over the whitewash. (22-7)
If the forwards were in the ascendancy then the backs were not far behind. Jon Goodin was a constant threat, breaching the Cantabs' defence every time he had his hands on the ball but it was Rob Booth who put the final nail in the Cantab's coffin, ghosting in through their centres to score under the posts to make it 27-7. Conor nudged the score to 29-7 with the conversion.
The final whistle followed soon after and the Saxons had got that all-important first win under their belts with a performance that was star quality, as individuals but more importantly as a team.
Thanks to Cantabs who stuck at it to the end and gave us a great game. Also to Gaz Baines, our trusty physio, for keeping both sets of players on the pitch!
MotM: John Clark