Determined Keynsham Rugby Club open season with away win

Published on: 21 Sep 2015

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Keynsham 1st XV got off to a winning start to their 2015/16 season in Tribute Western Counties North with a committed performance resulting in a 10-12 win over Burnham on Sea.

The visitors started the contest the stronger with a number of good attacking phases. With Burnham on the back foot and disorganised in defence, Keynsham’s scrum half John Pearce showed his blistering turn of speed and sniped through a near non-existent hole on the fringe of a ruck. As the no.9 sprinted into the opposition’s 22, the Burnham defence scrambled well but not before he was able to release a perfectly weighted pass to the supporting Brad Newton who looked to have scored but was denied by a last ditch tackle which prevented the game’s first try with Burnham winning a penalty from Keynsham holding on.

However, the early pressure on the hosts eventually paid and with 10 minutes played, Keynsham were awarded a kickball penalty which senior debutant fly half, Joe Davies, slotted. 0-3. The visitor’s lead was doubled as the game entered the second quarter with Davies slotting another well taken penalty. 0-6.

As both teams began to find their feet, the game picked up in pace with both sides stringing a number of phases together but the respective oppositions defence was equally as good preventing any further scores.

However, the game’s first try came rather fortuitously when a kick return by Burnham's fullback bounced awkwardly for the Keynsham defence and landed into the bread basket of the fullback allowing him to sprint in the remaining 20 metres and get Burnham on the score sheet. The conversion followed taking Burnham into a slender lead. 7-6.

As the half time whistle approached, the away pack began to gain the ascendancy at set piece and a number of solid and well worked scrums inside the Burnham 22 allowed Davies to knock over another penalty and take Keynsham into half time with a 7-9 advantage.

The second half started very much like the first with the Keynsham pack working together well while Burnham’s sizeable and well organised defence prevented the Keynsham backs capitalising on front foot ball. However, some early Burnham continuity caused Keynsham to infringe at a ruck, resulting in a successful Burnham penalty. 10-9.

With around 60 minutes played, a near repeat of the fortuitous kick chase and bounce occurred, but this in Keynsham’s favour. Centre Jack Hawkins collected the bounce and tore downfield before offloading to winger Marlon Dorset only for the ball to be deliberately intercepted and knocked on by the Burnham defender. A ruckus broke out and fly half Davies was deemed to be the aggressor and was sent to the sin bin.

Throughout the game, Keynsham had the lion’s share of attacking ball and territory but Burnham’s organised and physical defence prevented a try. However, the visitors' pack continued their dominance in the close and with less than 10 minutes to play won a penalty which Davies, having returned from the bin, cooly slotted despite the large amount of pressure. 10-12.

A nervous last 10 minutes faced the visitors as Burnham threw everything at them with Keynsham demonstrating both commitment and determination to prevent the powerful sea-siders from crossing the line. On the final play of the game the referee’s whistle blow signalled a penalty to Burnham providing the home side with the chance to go for posts and steal the win. Burnham’s fly half stepped up for the 40 metre kick and despite a good strike the kick drifted wide and Keynsham came away with the four point win and a valuable victory on the road. Final score Burnham on Sea 10, Keynsham 12.

Captain and number 8 Jack Weston said: “First and foremost I’m delighted that we got the win. The  boys showed some real determination and commitment today against a well organised Burnham side. We set ourselves the target of improving the number of away wins and to have got this away win in our first match of the season sets us in good stead for the next game and provides the squad with a lot of confidence in what we can achieve.”

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