Lucky number 8 for Keynsham Rugby following hard-fought victory over Whitehall

November 16 2015
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Keynsham Rugby made it eight wins from as many league outings with a deserved away win at Whitehall in dire weather conditions on Saturday, November 14. Full-time score 15-20.

November 2015

by Rob Breckon

Keynsham Rugby made it eight wins from as many league outings with a deserved away win at Whitehall in dire weather conditions on Saturday, November 14. Full-time score 15-20.

In blustering wind and rain, Keynsham started their fixture against Whitehall in a confident fashion, retaining the ball well through numerous phases and their pack asserting a physical dominance over their opposition. 

Some good early field possession saw the visitors hammer away at the Whitehall defence, who conceded a penalty for going offside at the breakdown. Full back Sam Challenger opened the scoring with a well stuck penalty against the wind. 0-3.

As the game entered the second quarter, continued ascendancy in the Keynsham pack allowed the forwards to shunt their opposition backwards at scrum time with captain and number 8 Jack Weston controlling the ball well at the helm and dotting down just right of the uprights. Challenger added the extras. 0-10.

Despite playing against the wind, Keynsham experienced good field possession in the first half, playing the majority of their rugby inside Whitehall’s half. Another scrum just outside the home side’s 22 allowed Weston to pick and go from the back of the scrum drawing in defenders as he charged towards the line. With numerous Whitehall players closing in, Weston offloaded to supporting winger Chris Bakker, who sprinted in the remaining metres and squeezed in over the corner. 15-0.

As the half-time whistle approached, Whitehall enjoyed a period of rare possession and were rewarded with a well taken try following their fly half dabbing the ball through behind the flat Keynsham defence for Jake Hollis to win the foot race to dive on the ball for Whitehall’s first points. Half time score 15-5.

The amber and blacks started the second half in similar fashion to the first. A clearing kick from Whitehall was well received by Challenger who showed good vision and turn of speed to counter attack and tear through the defence. Having beaten the first line of defence, Challenger offloaded to supporting winger Marlon Dorsett who then released flanker Ben Newman who crashed over in the far corner for a fine try. 20-5.

The final quarter witnessed Keynsham take their foot off the gas and allow Whitehall back into the game. Good defence from the away side minimised any meaningful phases of attack but the home side were eventually rewarded for their persistence with less than 10 minutes to go. With Keynsham on the back foot and Whitehall having the penalty advantage, Whitehall’s fly half kicked across field for the ball to bounce up perfectly for the oncoming Hollis to run in unopposed. 

Whitehall also had the final say with another try on the stroke of full time following some well worked forward play resulting in Henshaw forcing his way over after a handful of pick and drives.

Captain Weston said: “This was another well-fought victory and fantastic to remain unbeaten in the league this season. Considering the testing conditions, I thought we were were excellent for 60 minutes but it was a shame we let Whitehall back into the final quarter and not achieve the bonus point.

“We’ve a big week’s training ahead of us and we are looking forward to what will be a real test next week when we welcome Chew Valley to Crown Fields.”