Perfect 10 for Keynsham Rugby following away victory at Avon

December 05 2015
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Keynsham Rugby took their consecutive league victories to double figures on November 28 with a hard-fought win away at Avon. Final score 9-17.

December 2015

by Rob Breckon

Keynsham Rugby took their consecutive league victories to double figures on November 28 with a hard-fought win away at Avon. Final score 9-17.

At a very wet and windy Bath Easton, Keynsham made the relatively short trip to Avon knowing their hosts had beaten them both home and away the previous season.

After moving to Avon’s smaller pitch, it was the visitors who made the early inroads with a number of strong line breaks coupled with some well-judged offloads. Despite the strong start, Keynsham were unable to turn possession into points.

However, Keynsham were the first on the scoreboard courtesy of the boot of fly half Joe Davies. A sniping break from pacy scrum half John Pearce caught Avon back-tracking and subsequently offside, allowing Davies to grab an early penalty. 0-3.

As the wintry weather conditions worsened, both sides fell foul to spilt ball, resulting in numerous scrums slowing the flow of the game.

Keynsham then lost flanker Hayden Johnson to the sin bin following an altercation off the ball, with Avon levelling the scores through a penalty of their own. 3-3.

The lead then changed hands another two times following a brace of converted penalties from Keynsham’s and Avon’s kickers, making the half-time score nine apiece. Avon also lost their scrum half at the last penalty of the half for killing the ball.

With the scores level but Keynsham with the man advantage, the amber and blacks upped the gears and raised the tempo at the start of the second half. A slick line break in the midfield through Keynsham’s towering second row Corey Talbot, supported by centres Dave Fairless and Jack Hawkins, put Keynsham on the front foot. Solid work by the forwards saw Keynsham grind their way towards Avon’s line and after four quick pick-and-go phases, prop Tim Coghlan crashed over for the first try of the game. 9-14.

With their noses in front, Keynsham then started to take a hold at the set piece, with particularly Talbot, Gareth Jones and replacement Brad Newton making a significant impact at the line out, forcing the home side to resort to a kicking-heavy approach to the remainder of the game.

As the game entered the final quarter Davies edged his side ahead with another well struck penalty in windy conditions. 9-17.

With ten minutes left to play, Avon threw everything at the Keynsham defensive line and the away side lost two players to the sin bin in quick succession, forcing them to play for 10 minutes with just 13 players. However, like many times before, Keynsham’s desire and commitment saw them stand firm and after a hard defensive shift were able to force a turn over and clear their lines. This ultimately ended Avon’s hopes of grabbing a losing bonus point as Keynsham secured their tenth successive league win.

Captain Jack Weston said: “It was another well-fought win and in difficult conditions. We were forced to make some positional changes ahead of today but you need to show strength in depth in this league and simply get on with it. To have won ten from ten is outstanding and the buzz around the club is superb at the moment.”

During November, Keynsham also had a 46-12 victory over Gordano at home, a 15-20 away win at Whitehall, and a 33-8 win over Chew Valley.