“Della” are always one of Saints’ toughest opponents and it was to be no different in this contest at Lancaster Road in Salford.

The home side's defence was the toughest so far encountered by Anselmians’ free-scoring team and only Keswick’s strengthened home team have, held potential league winners Saints to fewer points.

Della’s line speed was impressive with defenders sometimes almost arriving before the ball. They also fought aggressively for the ball at ruck and maul, sometimes a bit too enthusiastically for the referee who awarded a total of five yellow cards against them; two at the same breakdown.

For much of the game, Della were reduced to 13 or 14 men but, all credit to their indomitable spirit, they still put up stern resistance throughout.

Saints had shown last week that they can play controlled rugby in all conditions. They needed that versatility again in Salford where the pitch was already boggy when the match kicked off and became increasingly treacherous as it wore on, in the incessant rain which neutralised any advantage Anselmians may have had in midfield.

But, as in last week’s game, the dominance of Saints’ pack at scrum time gave them the platform for another impressive away win.

From the outset, Saints pressed hard, putting Della under constant pressure in their red zone. On nine minutes, Della had a relieving kick charged down behind their line for Cavanagh to pounce for another try for the second-rower; his fourth so far this term.

The home team’s strong defence kept Saints at bay for most of the half but they could not compete at scrum-time and after 31 minutes they conceded a penalty try, infringing at several successive five-metre scrummages.

But Della struck back on 38 minutes with a very well-struck long-range penalty.

Saints tried their best to break down De La Salle’s defence for the next quarter but then, sensibly reverted to pushing them back into their corners with some superb tactical kicking by No.10 Dai Morley.

From there, they dominated scrummages, often pushing Della off their own ball. From one such shove from 10 yards, No 8, Ewan Nolan secured the touch-down and Morley added the extras.

Almost immediately from the restart, a scrappy ball, slithering around Della’s 10-metre line, was gathered by Saints’ “pigeon-catcher” winger, James Whitehouse. Jimmy needs no invitation to find his way to the line and he sprinted the 40m past despairing challenges for another five-pointer for him and two for Morley.