Keynsham RFC 26 - Newton Abbot RFC 12
A try bonus point was again left in the changing room when the third home match of the league season was played at the Crown Field on Saturday, the visitors on this occasion being Newton Abbot. The match was played in really warm conditions, not easy for the players of both sides.
The first ten minutes was all Keynsham’s who came out of the trap running. Bursts by Cieran Chester, on the wing, and Josh Woodman, hooker brought a second minute opportunity but a handling error saw the ball go into touch.
A powerful scrum and several mauls just brought a penalty, slotted by Sam Challenger after 5 minutes, a scrum infringement allowed Challenger to kick a second penalty. Another chance was spilt on 16 minutes when the home side conceded a penalty when better control would have yielded more points. Phil Harvey retired from the fray with a back spasm at this stage and was replaced by Darren Uren. The Black and Amber took a scrum against the head and a searching kick by scrum-half John Pearce took play to within 7 metres from the “Whites’” try-line. From that position a searing break by the visitors’ full-back Partridge and link up play by centres Saxton and Brown stretched K’s defence and the attack was only stopped at the 22-metre mark. Keynsham cleared this but 2 successive penalties brought the play back to the 5 metres line. This time it was the Whites who conceded a penalty to relieve the pressure. 32 minutes gone and, somewhat against the run of play, the visitors them scored a try in the right-hand corner; winger Josh Daly touching down and their captain Jake Monnington slotted a difficult conversion to edge Newton Abbot ahead. A third penalty from the boot of Challenger completed the scoring in an uninspiring first half.
Again, in the second half the local lads started strongly and they eventually scored their first try after 8 minutes. Following many pack surges, Pearce sniped away and Matt Clifton touched down, Challenger’s conversion taking the score to 14-7. Joe Clements was swapped with Callum Fennell at this stage. An intercept and strong run by Ollie Conybeare brought play to within 7 metres of the visitors line, a penalty ensued and Keynsham opted for a scrum, from which Jack Weston notched try no 2, Challenger’s kick just missing.
At 21 minutes, a break from 40 metres out saw Marlon Dorset score under the posts, the conversion making it 26-7 and the game sealed, just get the bonus point now! 5 minutes later Clements came back for the hobbling Jack Cowan. The Whites never gave up and were rewarded with a second try, scored by Aaron Brown. The home side did not threaten to get the fourth try required.
Once again Keynsham’s defence was of the highest order and they denied a threatening back-line any time or space thus forcing errors. The pack had its usual solid performance.
Next challenge is North Petherton away, are you up for it lads?
Keynsham RFC 24 - 14 Newent RFC
The second match of the league season was played at the Crown Field on Saturday in sub-Saharan conditions. The local side fielded 1 newcomer to the squad and welcomed back winger Marlon Dorsett after several seasons at Dings Crusaders; last week’s debutant winger Sheamus Connolly moving to start at full-back.
The first half was played at a heck of a pace, the visitors not showing that they had reportedly travelled with a less than full strength squad, as indicated by the fact that they only had one substitute available pitch-side. That this pace was maintained throughout the first half was assisted by the frequent stoppages for injury, 47 minutes being the timing for the 40 minutes play. Keynsham went into a very early lead when Newent were pinned back 10 metres from their line with an excellent box-kick chase; the defence conceded a penalty and after 3 mauls from the ensuing line-out scrum-half John Pearse squirmed over to touchdown, Sam Challenger adding a fine conversion. The Black and Ambers continued to dominate proceedings but failed to go further ahead due to a mixture of great defence work and their own carelessness. Joe Davies was injured but played on, only to suffer another injury and had to withdraw from the action. Dan Moody came on in the centre and Challenger moved to No10 (our new PM?). 36 minutes in another bit of slack play gifted the visitors’ an intercept try by centre Jack Guy, Tom Devries converting to tie the scores. Immediately after, Pearse went on a searing blind side break from 35 metres and was only just tackled by the line with a superb cover tackle from Devries.
So, the half ended all square. Keynsham having been the more potent side for the majority of the half, but Newent finished much the stronger, despite being heavily beaten at the scrummages. With the speed and overall accuracy generally in the game both defences should be proud of their achievements in nullifying the attackers, the tackling by both sides being of a high order.
The second half saw the home side introduce changes in the front and back rows, Ryan Harding taking over from Phil Harvey and Lewis Bush for Jack Josham. In a similar manner to the first half, the local boys scored and early try. Bush made his impact very early on with a storming run. This brought a Keynsham scrum 10 metres out and Jack Weston touched down for a push-over try, Challenger converting. Visiting wing Ollie Wood had to leave the game after 9 minutes with a neck ‘stinger’ replaced by Sam Jackson. There was immediate Keynsham pressure when Bush and Weston linked up twice in the same surge but progress was marred by a knock-on. The local side should have put the visitors to the sword at this stage such was their advantage but Moody decided to stop short of the line when his momentum would surely have brought a try (headlights and rabbit spring to mind!), then Weston fumbled a push-over try when the scrum got turned, and the opportunity was lost. Half way through this half Harvey returned for Tim Coghlan and Josham for Joe Clements. A Newent intercept followed shortly thereafter, and from a chip ahead they beat the defence, Leo Oakley being the man responsible, we believe. Devries’ conversion again levelling the scores.
Pressure on the visitors caused them to kick directly to touch and following the lineout Hayden Johnson scored K’s third try, Challenger converting. A bonus try opportunity loomed following drives by Harvey and Bush but was again spurned when there was a knock-on. Shortly before the end Joe Clements returned in place of the hard-working Jack Cowan. At the last gasp Keynsham denied Newent a losing bonus point when Challenger slotted a fine drop goal. The final whistle then blew – 24pts to 14.
Some satisfaction for the home side, but they may rue this as a lost opportunity, so much possession-so little reward. They need to be more clinical. Newent will have left disappointed at not securing a bonus point, but should be pleased with the spirit shown, the endeavour and accuracy of the defence; an interesting encounter is on the cards in the return fixture.
Keynsham’s Man of the Match was Josh Woodman, who was up directly against a large fit no 2, ran well, tackled well and threw well.
Get those knocks fixed for Newton Abbot next week, boys.
Keynsham RFC 22 - 12 Lydney RFC
The 2019/20 league season opened at the Crown Field on Saturday in almost perfect conditions. The local side fielded 3 newcomers from previous seasons in the matchday squad, 2 front row men – Josh Woodman and Cody Rensberg - and winger Sheamus Connolly.
The first half was a relatively damp squib in which Lydney certainly had more of the play. Although both sides showed a willingness to play fast expansive rugby, they both tried too hard – definite signs of rustiness. Keynsham started the trend when their initial kick-off when directly into touch, then gave away, or nearly gave away several interceptions, following with several more kicks going directly into touch. The two teams repeatedly lost possession with the local lads being the worst offenders. By 30 minutes the visitors were 6 points clear from penalties by their out-half Tony Wicks, who had also failed with one attempt. 5 minutes from the end of the half, Keynsham managed to string together some cohesive play and got their reward by means of a Sam Challenger penalty. The half ended with another penalty from Wicks when the K’s were penalised at a ruck.
The second half was of a different calibre entirely. It would seem that the local lads were rubbed down by WD 40 to remove their rust (other lubricants are available!) whereas the visitors were not. They started with a very bright opening with George Warren, Challenger and Jack Cowan all almost reaching the line. A huge surge from a scrum 8 metres out saw Jack Weston touch down for the first try of the game, Challenger’s conversion just wide, leaving Keynsham 1 point adrift. After a bit of a rumble involving both packs and a few stragglers, another good spell of play saw Warren just short again and a subsequent knock-on seemed to have lost an opportunity. A great power scrum saw Lyndey repulsed in disarray, the ball popped out and skipper Hayden Johnson was first to react and touch down, Challengers conversion making it 15-9.
15 minutes in Joe Davies was replaced by Dan Moody, Challenger moving to fly half and 2 minutes later a double swap saw debutant Rensberg and Jack Josham take over from Phil Harvey and Joe Clements. Rensberg’s debut was short lived as following 2 impressive drives he was forced from the action with a neck injury - Harvey returning to the fray. Lydney closed the gap to 6 with a penalty from Wicks and some 8 minutes from time Johnson was yellow carded and a torrid last ten looked on the cards. K’s pack and general defence were up to the task; they pinched an opposition lineout, made 15 metres or so with a drive and won a 5-metre scrum. Even with the pack being a man light there was little problem for Weston to notch his second try and secure a great win to start the season – Challenger icing the cake – 22pts to 12pts. Lydney just failed to earn a losing bonus point when in the last move of the game another knock on spoilt all the good work.
Keynsham’s defence was up to last seasons standard, the pack eventually got going and the line-out play was streets ahead of what was on show previously; the stealing of 8 opposition throws and disruption to others testify to this.
It is to be hoped that the player commitment is better than previous seasons and the new coaching team are given full support by the squad and fringe players. No mid-season stag weekends, or taking Granny on a shopping expedition, please!
Highlight for the writer – Adul Tweazel’s Johnny May like mid air retrieval of a box kick!!!
Looking forward to next week.