Playing against 14 men, it was perhaps inevitable that AEI recorded another win but the manner of victory was less than satisfying.
Unusually, AEI made a bright start and used their numerical superiority to take a 19-0 lead in the first 20 minutes with tries from J Jenkins (2) and J Stretton. This, apart from the win itself, was as good as it got.
With a comfortable lead, AEI took their foot off the gas and their focus off the ball to take umbridge with the manner in which the rucks and mauls were being contested by a physical opposition. A series of defensive lapses allowed Standard to finish the half the stronger and only 19-14 down at halftime.
The AEI squad rotation policy was utilised once again but to little noticeable effect: AEI were threatening in the loose but struggled with the referee’s interpretation in the tight and around the fringes. Despite their inability to dominate the breakdown, J Bott (2) and J Jenkins managed to add to their season tallies; R Macdonald also showed his skills in first ripping the ball in the tackle and then running almost the length of the field (looking for all the world as if an elasticated bungee cord was attached to his back and threatening to drag him back at any moment) to register his first points of the season.
With another league game next week, AEI will be looking for greater consistency in their performance whilst maintaining their undefeated status.