Bury St Edmunds under 13s v. Saffron Walden RFC – Sunday 10th March 2019, Bury St Edmunds RUFC
By Laura Hudson
Bury overcame a sluggish start to run out 60-15 winners
Heavy overnight rain and a bracing, strong wind welcomed visitors Saffron Walden to the Haberden for a Sunday lunchtime game gracing the first team pitch. A large, supportive crowd braved the conditions and, whilst not being the greatest game they will have seen this season, saw a strong Bury team run in twelve tries.
Bury started the game slowly, with their forward pack seemingly happy to let the backs do the bulk of the hard work; Finlay Blair in particular excelling in leading the home side’s defensive efforts. Whilst this might be beneficial for the back division, the pack cannot afford to start so sluggishly – particularly when the strong wind required a committed forward performance. Saffron Walden were deservedly 10-0 up after 7 minutes and were well-organised with some excellent rucking and ball retention. Jack Griggs kept Bury in the game with a good run and finish to leave the first quarter score at 5-10.
The second quarter was much more encouraging, with Bury flying out of the blocks. A contender for try of the day was scored in the opening minute: Nico Marchini making a typically strong run down the clubhouse side, finding Vincent La Starza on the inside when he was dragged down. When he in turn was held up by the defence he found Jack Griggs in support and he doubled his tally under the posts. A few minutes later, some strong Bury scrummaging led to Luke neal scoring in the right-hand corner after a great wing run. Vincent La Starza scored his first of the day with some aggressive running for a good try, and both he and Nico Marchini added their second scores of the day with some unstoppable lines and determination. This left the half-time score at 30-10.
The second half started with another great run from Nico Marchini, scoring a good try after a great run to complete his latest hat-trick. If this was senior rugby he would be a poor man this season and the squad would have benefited from a lot of free time upstairs in the clubhouse. Many teams would have folded at this point, but Saffron Walden battled back with a well-worked try and only determined defence kept them from the further scores that their play deserved. This was best exemplified by a terrific covering tackle from Thomas Cornwall when the opposition looked certain to score in the corner.
By now Bury had realised the benefit of being switched on at the re-start and in the first minute of the final quarter Kai Tan showed his pace with a great run down the right hand side to score in the corner. Nico Marchini scored his fourth of the day in his usual excellent style before Vincent La Starza added his second with a training ground move from the base of another strong scrum.
With five minutes left there was just enough time for Jack Griggs and Vincent La Starza to complete well deserved hat-tricks. Jack scored with a decent, quick run after a lost scrum was rescued by Finlay Blair’s alert play. Vince then completed the day’s scoring with another of his trademark runs, to leave the final score at 60-15.
Overall the score line did not really reflect what was, for long periods of the game, a very close affair. Bury need to lose the habit of slow starts to matches and cannot always rely on their size and strong scrummaging to come from behind. Certainly some work is required in training on re-starts and securing the ball more consistently at the breakdown. The defensive line also needs to be more disciplined, but again this can be developed on Friday nights. These are all things that can be taught, but the club and coaches are fortunate to have such good numbers of enthusiastic and committed team players, who all continue to excel and support each other through what can be a tough old sport.