RUGBY UNION: Seven-try success is not enough to fully satisfy St Ives skipper

Alex Henly was one of three St Ives players to score a brace of tries in their win at Leicester Fore

Alex Henly was one of three St Ives players to score a brace of tries in their win at Leicester Forest. - Credit: Archant

St Ives captain Josh Dear insists there is still room for improvement – despite a seven-try haul in a fifth successive victory.

The locals triumphed 45-13 at Leicester Forest to continue a terrific Midlands Division Three East (South) campaign.

And while skipper Dear is thrilled by the progress the Bulls have made following relegation battles in recent seasons, he still wants his men to be more ruthless.

Dear said: “The success we’re having all boils down to training hard in midweek and implementing our game plan on a Saturday.

“We stuck to our task well at Leicester Forest after a tough first period and reaped the rewards in the second half.

“We left opportunities out there too, so there is still work to be done to really punish sides when we’re as dominant as we ended up being in this game.”

St Ives were without coach Phil Brown due to a skiing trip, but their form certainly didn’t go downhill in his absence as Max Dominy took control of operation on the sidelines.

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The Bulls were punished for shows of indiscipline during a tight opening half, though. They conceded two penalties within kicking distance – which the hosts gratefully took advantage of to hit the front – and another which led to Mickey Drake sitting out 10 minutes.

Despite being down to 14 men, St Ives claimed the first try of the afternoon when Duncan Williams crashed over from close range just before the break.

Paul Ashbridge steered over the conversion to give the Bulls the narrowest of half-time advantages – and they ensured it grew in the second period.

Williams touched down for his second try before Josh Meadows did likewise following a powerful St Ives scrum.

Ashbridge converted the latter of those scores and also did the honours when Ollie Bartlett reacted quickly to add a fourth Bulls try.

The points continued to flow as Alex Henly helped himself to a quick brace of tries with replacement Ollie Raine delivering key contributions in the build-up to both of them – one of which was converted by Ashbridge.

A penalty try gave Forest some consolation before St Ives signed off with the final score as Bartlett raced in under the posts.

Ashbridge followed up with his fifth successful conversion to complete another comprehensive success.

St Ives remain third in the standings and host second-placed Long Buckby at Somersham Road this Saturday, 2.15pm.

Struggling St Neots were out of action last weekend. Their trip to Dunstablians fell victim to a frozen pitch.

This Saturday it is their turn to host Leicester Forest at The Common, 2.15pm.