A combined Percy Park and Kings Priory hosted St Albans College Buenos Aires first XV under lights at Percy Park, with the hosts hanging on for victory in an enthralling game.
St Albans started at a furious pace which the hosts found difficult to contain. Slick movement, ferocious tackling and astute kicking had Park pulled and stretched to the limit, their only comfort being a secure lineout and utterly dominant scrum.
The first score arose from a loose Park kick which was run back with pace, recycled across the pitch and eventually, after some heroic defence, grounded for a try in the corner.
Slowly the Park forwards started to assert pressure on the visitors and the balance of possession swung Park’s way.
On the stroke of half-time, from a penalty in the 22, Ben Anderson shipped the ball along the line for the fullback to skip through a number of despairing tackles for a try. Anderson’s boot adding the extras to make it 7-5 at the interval.
The second half started with Park in the ascendency, their forwards winning plenty of ball and the backs now playing like a unit.
Next on the scoreboard was flying winger Josh Cheung. A slick passing move gave him the slightest of gaps and his pace was enough to take him around the first defender and through the second for a great try. Anderson added an excellent touchline conversion to make the score 14-5.
Park were now playing the game deeper in the opposition territory. A well-judged kick to the corner was chased up by Reese who caught the fullback off guard and the resultant fumble was grounded by the flying winger for 19-5.
Park started to ring the changes to ensure everyone in the squad got game time and the visitors, in response, changed their tactics and started kicking long and chasing hard. From one such kick they were able to capitalise on a defensive error which led to a try.
With ten minutes remaining the hosts were forced on the back foot, and only brave defence and a couple of wayward passes preserved their line.
On full-time, after a period of sustained pressure, College grabbed the final score, making it three tries apiece.
Both teams were a credit to the game and ensured that the large crowd were thoroughly entertained throughout.