For the first time this season the full squad was available which is always a good thing. Duke of Kent are always difficult and they had beaten us last season. After 2 defeats it was important to get off to a good start.
In fact it couldn’t have been better – a good kick chase by the pack secured quick ball for Ben V who released the backs first left and then right resulting in Sam receiving a well-timed pass to run in unopposed in the corner. Confidence is a wonderful thing and the forwards began to run with real purpose, hit rucks and secure ball. Will and Toby made countless runs always beating the first tackler. Jamie started to pinch their scrums and Daniel came more and more into the game picking some good lines. The back row, Ally, Ben K and Hugo were immense throughout the game generating real pressure on the opposition half backs. The second score, from a “claret covered” Ben K was inevitable as the pack were winning most of the contacts. (10 – 0). We certainly did not have it all our own way as Kent launched a number of determined attacks but, for the first time, our defence stood firm and made their tackles, although Dylan needs to make sure the player actually has the ball!! After co-ordinated work from both pack and backs the third try came through Hugo (15 – 0) which was no more than we deserved. Matt was making real inroads with the ball and the timing of the passes between him Evan and Sam were much better although there is still a tendency to drift. Ally got in on the act with a determined run down the wing evading one very determined tackler, who then became somewhat involved in our band of loyal supporters, to score under the posts which Ben K converted (22 – 0). The only real negative was reserved for the final play when a complete lack of concentration allowed Kent to score and so go in 22 – 7.
The second half was somewhat of a repeat performance with Robbie and Fred replacing Robert and Dan. Further tries from Ally and Hugo with another kick from Ben K put us well in command at 34 – 7. Jack finally remembered that he is a bit unit and that if you run straight you are more effective which is exactly what he did making good yardage. Sadly we did rather go to sleep in the last 10 minutes and allowed another score leaving the final result 34 – 12. On the surface a comfortable win however without the try saving tackles from Yonis on no less than 4 occasions this could have been a very different result indeed! We are far from the finished article but this was certainly a step in the right direction. A rest next week and then Lancing on the 22nd.
Thanks to Mr Kift, Director of Sport at Hurst for refereeing , and of course to our loyal supporters who will now, I think, stand a little further back from the touchline! Well done boys.