NEWPORT 73 KENILWORTH 12
As expected, Kenilworth found the going at league leaders Newport in Shropshire extremely challenging, losing the game 12-73. Kenilworth’s preparation was hampered by a significant and disappointing number of players declaring their unavailability in the week leading up to the game. It must be said however that those players that did cross the white line on to the sun blessed Newport pitch did themselves and the club proud. At no time did they give up, or their heads drop, which could have happened so easily given the dominance that Newport showed for almost all of the first half. Newport dominated the set pieces although the Kenilworth pack showed great resilience and were able to scrape a considerable amount of scrum ball back. Influential Newport centre Henry Vaka very much controlled things in the middle of the park running strongly at and around the Kenilworth backs scoring one try and regularly providing the scoring pass.
Kenilworth were not always on the back foot however and had two or three periods of possession in and around the opposition 22 and on a couple of occasions winger Ryan Spriggs drove hard for line only to be swallowed up by the effective Newport defence.
Although 45 points down at the start of the second half a determined Kenilworth started well and went straight into the attack with strong recycled ball from the forwards finding Ollie Burnam who ran through the middle of the Newport defence to feed Ed Hannam to go over for a try, converted by Josh Hickman. Kenilworth were playing with real grit and determination and refused to be bullied by Newport who went for nearly 20 minutes before crossing the Kenilworth line for their eighth try of the afternoon. Kenilworth continued to battle on and take the game to Newport and on 65 minutes were rewarded for their spirit when Burnam crossed for Kenilworth’s second try. Towards the end of the game Kenilworth should have scored a third after a flowing move involving both forwards and backs but unfortunately the last pass out on the right wing found prop forward Bolger who rather than simply touch the ball down unnecessarily over elaborated and lost the ball forward.
Kenilworth’s final game of the season is at home on Saturday 22nd April, against Stoke.