Crusaders 40, Thurston 10
Crusaders recorded a comfortable win over bottom side Thurston to continue their good season in Greene King Eastern Counties League Division One.
The home side started brightly and soon stretched the Thurston defence with some crisp handling moves.
Thurston, buoyed up by last week's win, only their second of the season, drove out of their half with a well executed rolling maul gaining 40 metres and a penalty for their efforts.
A well placed touch from Ashley Allen put Crusaders under pressure near their try line, resulting in Ashley Smith being sin binned for a high tackle.
Thurston capitalised and from another good rolling maul Baxter touched down and Allen converted to give the visitors a surprise but deserved lead.
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Crusaders' response was swift and following intense pressure winger Keiran Morrely was held up over the line. A big Crusaders scrum sucked in the visitors' back row and quick ball allowed Jordan Long to jink his way over between the posts. Tristan Smith converted to level.
Crusaders' pack were now in control and were rewarded with a push-over try, swiftly followed by a typical Ashley Smith try, the centre crashing through two tackles to score. Both were converted by Smith. Allen struck a neat penalty for Thurston to leave the visitors trailing 21-10 at half-time.
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Crusaders' scrummaging soon took its toll on the visitors and two front row injuries resulted in unopposed scrummaging and spoilt the game as a spectacle.
Crusaders' frustration was evident as they racked up far more infringements than the visitors who were now enjoying far more possession. Despite this setback Crusaders were still able to add three more trys, two from Peter Blinkhorn and one from Stuart Burn, Smith kicking nine out of ten conversions.