Kenilworth Colts 12 – 38 Newbold Colts
Kenilworth took on Newbold Colts on Saturday, trying to avenge one of the few defeats they have suffered this season and turned out one of their worst performances of the season, gifting a comprehensive victory to their visitors.
Several late cry-offs and Twickenham fever had disrupted the Kenilworth line-up, but this was not to take away a workmanlike performance from the visitors, who themselves had selection issues.
The pitch was very heavy in places, but was certainly good enough to enable both sides to throw the ball about. Newbold managed this with ease and Kenilworth contributed to their downfall with some very lackluster defensive tackling and extremely sloppy passing. This has been a home strength for most of the season and was certainly lacking on Saturday.
The game started with Newbold showing a far greater determination up front in both the tight and contact area, with the home side slow to the breakdown and uncommitted when they eventually got there.
Against the run of play, Joe Ballinger at scrum-half , took the ball round the blindside from a scrum in the visitors 22 and an inside pass to Dan Goode allowed him to crash over for an unconverted try – 5-0.
Newbold then exerted some pressure in Kenilworth’s 22 and from a solid scrum, the ball was moved to their left wing, where the ball was dropped with the line begging. From a penalty shortly after, no-one from the home side paid any attention to the livewire scrum-half from Newbold, who carved through a porous home defence and quickly recycled ball, gave Newbold their first points – 5-5.
A rolling maul gave Newbold a platform for their next converted try, with little or no defending taking place – 5-12.
Despite good strong running from James Ray, which nearly produced a try, some crass panicking by several of Kenilworth’s back 3 allowed Newbold to stretch their lead further – 5-19.
An injury to Joe Ballinger forced Kenilworth to bring on Josh O’Brien at scrum-half, who had played already in the morning. The half-time whistle rang with Kenilworth heads dropping in a half in which they contributed to their own downfall 5-19.
Changes were made at half-time to bring on the subs and to try to bolster the forward effort which had been sadly lacking so far in the match.
From an early lineout in Newbold’s 22, the ball was quickly transferred to Nick Prince, who delivered a clever flat pass to Ed Hannam, who crashed over for a try converted by Nick Prince – 12-19. Game on we thought!!
Kenilworth continued to contribute to their own downfall, by giving away a raft of silly penalties, which allowed Newbold to either relieve pressure that they were being put under or give a platform to Newbold from which to attack from.
Excellent defence from Will Arnell and George Martin kept Newbold backs at bay when they had created several overlaps, but giving away possession stupidly either by kicking ball away when better options were available to them, kept handing scoring options to Newbold.
Newbold managed to score three more tries, of which two were converted to take the final score to 12-38, with Kenilworth contributing handsomely to each of them.
This was a very frustrating afternoon from a coaches point of view. You don’t mind losing to a side like Newbold, who are a quality side in their own right, but when there is such generosity from the home side in terms of lackluster performance and silly mistakes that gift so much possession and weak tries, it is galling.
It was great to see Jack Killian come on for his first performance of the season and hopefully, he enjoyed his cameo towards the end of the game. It was also good to see Dan Rink back in the side following his shoulder dislocation.
There are some tough games ahead and we will have to show far greater desire, aggression and commitment if we are to get the best out of these games. Next week, we host the University of Warwick Freshers, a game we won at the death and then the Warwickshire Cup Preliminary round against Nuneaton.