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Home > News > Malvern spirit not enough
Your News Malvern spirit not enough

Kenilworth 46 Malvern 24

Seeking the elusive first win of the season, Malvern travelled to Kenilworth, always a tough prospect on their own patch.

A perfect start saw Cameron Pimlow seize on a mistake and the ball was fed along the Malvern back line for Ryan Henshaw to power in for the opening score, Pimlow’s conversion attempt hitting the post. However, the home side were quickly back in contention when a poor clearance gave the ball to the powerful Kenilworth backs, who cut through to equalise, their conversion also finding woodwork. Malvern played with the most spirit seen this season so far, taking the ball to the Warwickshire side and causing them some difficulties. A long range penalty was missed when arguably a kick to the corner would have been the sensible option. A flurry of off-ball activity, when the home hooker decided to display his punching skills, saw a player from each side sin-binned by the inexperienced referee, who missed much crucial activity during the afternoon. Kenilworth seized the advantage and their backs once again cut through some sloppy defence to increase the lead in the 26th minute, and then score in the corner on the half hour for a 14 point cushion. Malvern continued to battle, with Owen Jones and Simon Daws in the back row causing some problems in the loose. Coming back into the reckoning from a tapped penalty, a fine move involving Henshaw, Pimlow, Tom Beechey and Gareth Taylor saw the lock go over to score and set up Hooper’s conversion. However, from the restart and on the stroke of half time, the Kenilworth backs again cut through to score and maintain a two score cushion at the break.

With prop Dan Chesham off with a back injury the Malvern scrum continued to struggle in the set pieces, the home pack having learned much from the coaching of former England star Darren Garforth. They drove over in the corner after taking a Malvern throw but Malvern came back from the restart, securing the ball and passing it out to Beechey, who zipped through to score. This gave added heart to the Malvern performance and they were playing with conviction, retaining possession and working the ball well. A superb move involving Pimlow, Beechey and Richard Fleming was clinically finished by Henshaw, Hooper’s conversion bringing Malvern to within a single score. Into the last quarter hour Kenilworth won a penalty and put the ball deep into Malvern territory, attacked the line and scored a converted try. Phil Rawle came on with 10 minutes left but only lasted a couple of minutes as the referee, again displaying some inconsistency, sin binned him for hands in the ruck, the home side putting over the penalty. Malvern suffered a further blow when Owen Jones, driving forward, was concussed in a collision and took no further part. Down to 13 men, the stretched Malvern defence conceded a final try with four minutes to go.

Malvern’s Director of Rugby David Robins was happier with his team’s performance despite the loss. “We played some of our best rugby football to date this season and displayed a far more positive attitude in taking the game to the opposition. Their coach said we were the first side to score four tries at Kenilworth during his tenure. However, our defensive lapses again let us down, and although we were a match in terms of back division talent going forward, our cover let us down. We also made some poor decisions over kicking – sometimes you just need to find touch, rather than kicking it straight to the opposition. Our set scrum was in trouble all afternoon, mainly due to the referee’s inexperience in spotting their prop pulling down, although they were a well drilled unit. With both teams wanting to play an open game the spectators certainly benefitted in seeing 70 points scored. However, we need to work on our defence for the visit of second placed Newport this week.”

Kick off at Spring Lane is 2.15p.m.

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