By Stewart Holford
Superb mornings rugby
A lovely fresh morning brought the prospect of some exciting matches as we were put into Pool D. Having only played Kesteven previously who could know where it would lead:
Game 1 Wisbech: We started off really strongly, strong in the ruck and it was one way traffic, 2 tries for Oran down the wing, 2 for Tom H off the scrum & a tap & go penalty, 1 for Will & another for Fraser? We were pretty dominant all over, a nice way to start but not too taxing for the boys
Kettering 30 - 0 Wisbech
Game 2 Kesteven: We started strongly in attack & kept possession in their half but Kesteven's giant fullback got the ball and was very destructive with good hand offs and a score. Kettering kept their composure at the restart & again good possession. Charlie driving through the middle making good meters & drawing in the opposition, good ball through hands out wide & Freddie gets it over the line. We start to take control with good possession, they have strong runners but with some outstanding tackles we keep them back. The scrum is also working well & we are getting a good shove on. Some great running with Fraser exploiting the broken field, Freddie with a chip over the top & regather, gets tackled but not held, gets up & scores. Last minute of the game & we give a penalty away on our 5m from the scrum. They pass to the big full back, the boys put in a good effort but he's over the line.
Kettering 10- 10 Kesteven
Game 3 Ely: Ely start strong & we start to loose a bit of shape & our tackling has dropped off. Tom R intercepts on his own 22 & runs the length of the pitch to score. Ben secures a loose ball, ball out Rory on the wing who passes it back across the pitch for a score. A great passage of play. Ely restart & into Frasers hands who eats up the broken field to run in a try. Good dominance from the boys now, Ben chips over the top to Milo who runs it in. Ely probing into our half again but Christian rips the ball & tears up the wing with Rory in support, christian runs in the try. Ely come back with a rip of the ball & make their first score. Tom R with another rip in midfield & runs it in, good score. An overall good performance from the boys
Kettering 30-5 Ely
We end up pool winners having conceded only 3 tries. We go on to face the winners of Group C Market Harborough. MH start strong with good forward dominance, our guys just a bit too slow to the breakdown & not strong enough. MH have a rapid winger who they get the ball out to for a try. Their forwards caused a lot of issues & drive over a couple of tries. We couldn't knock the commitment, the boys threw everything at it but it wasn't to be.
Kettering 0-15 Market Harborough.
3rd & 4th place play off. Rushden & Higham. As you'd expect this was a very evenly matched game, both sides turning the ball over & causing each other problems. We played mainly in their half, Freddie spots they don't have a full back & chips over the top for Tom R to pick up & pass to Oran to score. We battled on their line & had the ball held up at least once. The boys perseverance pays off & Oran gets over the line despite numerous R&H players trying to hold him back.
Kettering 10-0 Rushden & Higham
A fantastic performance from the whole team today, Clarke, Shea & Max really bossing the scrum & the forwards, some good carries by the rest of the boys, Charlie was very destructive through the middle & Alfie had a good showing at 8 with some skilful feet at the back of the scrum. The backs are really exciting with most players being interchangeable in positions, Leo & Christian playing well anywhere today. They play with flair & confidence. We still don't see any other side chipping over the top or attempting cross field kicks.
Stoneygate: Really proud of the boys who played for Stoneygate today, all the feed back was really positive & the play that i saw was KRFC at it's best. It was great to see smiling faces at the end telling me how it had gone. Its good playing experience for boys & shows the wealth of skills the squad has. Special mention to Harry who organised some training drills for the stonygate players between games to help them improve. Marcus was overwhelmed by this gesture as were we all.