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Home > News > Walsall 58 - Kenilworth 8
Your News Walsall 58 - Kenilworth 8

With the kick-off temperature less than half of what it was the previous Saturday, the question was could the Ks achieve a similar transformation?, writes Ralph Murray.

From the off, it was clear that Kenilworth would be giving something away in the size department to their opponents; this is becoming a recurring theme when facing the better teams in this league. But the size difference is certainly not reflected in the way this Kenilworth side plays the game and early endeavours were awarded with a successful penalty after 2 minutes from fly half George Trafford.

This early score seemed to rally the Walsall forwards and, having heard the on-field calls, it seemed they had targeted the opening 20 minutes of the game to establish their advantage. From the ensuing restart they attacked the Kenilworth line and, after some stout defence following a set scrum, Tierney crossed for the home sides first try in the corner.

It now seemed that the physical advantage enjoyed by Walsall would be converted into a big lead but Ks had other ideas. Following the restart, Walsall attempted a leisurely clearance but determined follow up resulted in a charge-down try for prop Catalin Graur. Following this score, the main action was taking place in midfield with both teams evenly matched in this area but it is at key times like this where Kenilworth have been vulnerable in the past. In these next 10 minutes, Kenilworth leaked 2 quick tries despite having defended initial attacks very well.

The scoreboard was now looking ominous for Kens but again that spirit prevailed and another series of attacks brought play within 5m of the Walsall line. The ball was eventually spun out to Chris Muncaster who made a surge for the line but, being isolated, was penalised for holding on. Soon after, a neat break down the right hand wing by George Trafford made space for Nyle Beckett but the final pass failed to go to hand and the chance went begging.

Once again, the period following some good Kenilworth pressure proved the Achilles heel; against the run of play, a break put Walsall 10m out from the Ks line and number 8 Dickson went over unopposed. Straight back up the field came Kenilworth with another promising break came to nought due to the final pass.

We were now at a critical point in the match with Walsall stretching ahead but Kenilworth showing enough to make the result far from certain. 2 key events now conspired to take the wind out of Kenilworths sails; Bobby Thompsons injury and the sending to the sin-bin of Jai Purewal. Thompson was having a bit of a stormer up to this point; his recent form has been a highlight of some otherwise disappointing results. Both these events occurred in the 10 minutes before half-time and we went to the break with Walsall ahead by 32-8.

Amazingly the first 26 minutes of the second half produced nul points for either side but this does not indicate a lack of effort. There were at least 3 good scoring opportunities for Kenilworth in this period but, crucially, finishing let them down.

In the final quarter of an hour, the pattern we have witnessed against the high-flying teams this season reappeared. After such a sustained effort the feeling was that if one try was scored by Walsall, a number may follow; and so it came to pass.

The final scoreline appears a brutal statement but this does not do justice to the effort or the quality of play which Kenilworth displayed for large parts of this encounter. It is not for lack of effort that they find themselves at the foot of the table but they must take solace in the fact that they have played four of the the top five sides and lived with them for long periods. It is vital now that they take full advantage of the forthcoming fixtures against mid/lower-table teams to bolster their position in this league. The mounting casualty list is not helping this cause.

next game is Bournville, Sat 15 Oct, 3pm.

WARWICKSHIRE SECOND XV CUP Silhillians gave Kenilworth a walk over.



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