Vase goes on for unbreakable Rushden

Player-coach Stuart Riding was among Rushden & Higham's try scorers in their 34-0 success over Edwardians
Player-coach Stuart Riding was among Rushden & Higham's try scorers in their 34-0 success over Edwardians

Rushden & Higham once again showed their defensive strength as they marched on in the Senior Vase having dumped out Edwardians.

They went to the West Midlands confident of their own chances but unsure of what would be awaiting them.

They returned with a 34-0 success behind them and a place in the quarter-finals to look forward to.

A tough first half saw Rushden profit from the boot of Dan Sharp as the Edwardians infringed.

They continued to pressure their opponents and played rugby deep in their half, but struggled to combine patterns of play in their efforts to cross the line.

The Edwardians tackled hard and competed for possession at the breakdown but never seemed to threaten the impressive Rushden defensive.

Powerful running from second row Conor Hewitt constantly provided a platform for his forwards to present the ball to the awaiting backs.

However, they were unable to score a try but were happy with a 12-0 lead at half-time.

As the second half commenced it was clear the home side could not cope with the physicality Rushden were offering.

With the forwards leading the way, the backs began to punch holes in the defence.

The inevitable opening try came for player-coach Stuart Riding at the end of a great phase of play which saw almost every Rushden player touch the ball.

As the confidence began to grow, further tries came for hooker Matt Ellson - following a powerful drive to the line by the Rushden pack - and Sharp who kicked five penalties and two conversions for a personal haul of 24 points.

Rushden captain Ben Howe said: “To come away from home and win 34-0 is a great achievement.

“The defence is proving tough to break this season and I am eagerly anticipating the draw for the next round as we move to the Midlands quarter-finals.”

Rushden travel to face in-form Rugby St Andrews in Midlands Three East (South) this weekend.

The sides are level on points having both won six of their seven league games so far this season.