RUGBY: Kesteven suffer disappointing start to league campaign

Weekend rugby union preview.
Weekend rugby union preview.

Midlands League 2

East (North)

Southwell 42

Kesteven 5

Kesteven travelled the short distance to Southwell for their opening league match.

The morning rain had stopped by the time kick-off came round, with Southwell doing the honours.

Kesteven knocked on and from the scrum Southwell scored a simple try as their centre ran straight to go over at the posts. The conversion opened up a seven point lead inside two minutes.

Southwell looked a strong side and dominated possession, and Kesteven found it difficult to get out of their own half. The defence held firm until midway through the half when a break from half way opened up space for their wing to run in the second try. The conversion was good.

Life became more difficult for the visitors when Ashley Osbourne suffered an injury. Sam Durrance came on as replacement, making a welcome return after a long injury lay-off.

Kesteven did have their moments in attack when Whittaker and Wood combined to force a scrum five metres out. Southwell defended that well and finished the half with their third try out on the left. The conversion opened up a 21 point lead at the break.

Whitaker suffered a leg injury and left the field to be replaced by Curtis Dingley.

In the second half, Ks showed more resilience and enjoyed more of the game. Goodrich was making an impression and went close to opening the Kesteven account but was squeezed into touch.

Midway through the half, Kesteven’s attacking play came good as Keiran Taylor ran clear to score. Galloway missed the conversion.

From the restart, Southwell stepped offside leading to a scrum on half way. Southwell, however, pressured the visiting pack and when the ball broke loose, the home number seven picked up and ran in to score at the posts for the bonus point try.

Whitaker was able to return in place of Windsor, then Windsor in turn came back on to replace Taylor. Further disruption to the Kesteven side saw Pert replace Armstrong who suffered a cut above the eye.

Southwell mounted more attacks but the Kesteven defence held firm until the last minute. Vincent was judged to have come off side in front of the posts and was sent to the sin bin. Southwell opted for the scrum and were able to score a fifth try. They followed this up with a final score a minute later to stretch their lead to 42-5.

Southwell looked a strong side and will go far in the league. Kesteven will come back and look to get back on track against Spalding on Saturday.

Kesteven: Whitaker, Windsor, Goodrich, Wood, Taylor, Galloway, Addlesee, Odams, Sheardown, Osborne, Vincent, Templeton, Armstrong, Turner, Peabody. Reps: Dingley, Durrance, Pert.