ANSELMIANS extended their lead at the top of rugby union’s Regional 2 North West table with a 26-17 away win over Rochdale.

Unbeaten for the whole of last season and still without a loss during the current campaign, Rochdale proved a stern test for the Saints who took the lead in the fifth minute when Dai Morley went over under the posts with the same player converting.

Minutes later, the hosts created an overlap and scored near the corner through Patrick Gillan which was converted to make it 7-7.

A Joshua Schofield try saw Rochdale take the lead before Will Grabe dived over unopposed to score, converted by Morley to make it 12-14 to the visitors at half-time.

After the break, Fred Clark drove over from a maul to score Saints’ third try of the afternoon before Ewan Nolan found space and with a classy hand off sprinted over for Saints fourth try and the bonus point.

A final try from Rochdale saw them pile on the pressure in the closing minutes but Anselmians held on as Rochdale failed time after time to break the line.