Kenilworth's winning run continues at Burton

By Jai Purewal

22nd Feb 2023 | Rugby

Kenilworth have now won eight consecutive games in the Regional One Midlands league (image by Dom Carrick)
Kenilworth have now won eight consecutive games in the Regional One Midlands league (image by Dom Carrick)

Kenilworth Men extended their winning run to eight consecutive games with a hard-fought 29-25 victory at Burton's impressive new home ground.

Kenilworth fielded a somewhat changed side, particularly in the backs, with former Coventry player, Mark O'Connor making his fist XV debut and exciting youngster, Ben Parsons selected in the league squad for the first time.

Another notable selection in the backline, saw versatile skipper Bobby Thompson selected at 12 for the first time at this level.

With a strong wind behind their backs, it was Kenilworth who opened the scoring with returning dead-eye kicking full-back Morgan kicking three points from 25 metres, after a Burton indiscretion at the ruck in centre field, score 0-3.

From the restart, Kenilworth put themselves under pressure with a miss-field of the high ball, but did enough to take play back into the Burton half, gaining a scrum.

From the set piece, Morgan kicked the ball in behind the home defence, putting them under pressure and earning Kenilworth their first attacking lineout. The lineout was won leading to a textbook catch and drive try from hooker Carey. Score 0-10.

The next 10 minutes of the game saw Burton with the majority of possession. Despite the Kenilworth defence successfully repelling several Burton attacks, the home side did eventually score their first try of the day. With 35 minutes on the clock, and the conversion good, the score was 7-10.

Mindful of the need to build a score whilst playing with the wind, Kenilworth rediscovered their flow and were asking all sorts of questions of their opponents.

Bruising carries from Kavanagh and Carey, backed with guile and tenacity from Andresen, eventually told with Kenilworth's second try; winger Sam Miles spinning through the tackle to dot down out wide on the left and Morgan adding an impressive conversion. Half time score 7-17.

(image by Dom Carrick)

Player-coach Phil Boulton delivered his half time talk from the shelter of the dressing room. Not for the first time this season, the talk was more about pressure from Ken's own undoing, rather than being stretched by the opposition. Boulton called for better application and attention to detail in the play, and for everyone to find an extra 10 per cent given the first half performance.

But with 10 minutes gone in the second half, Burton brought the score to 10-17 with a successful penalty kick on the back of concerted pressure; Kenilworth not helping themselves at times in the build up.

Twenty minutes into the second half a Burton hooker was sent to the sin-bin after a high shot on Kenilworth's Chaz Hudson.

Kenilworth now looking to make the most of the numerical advantage, Thompson, Ryan and Hudson led the charge with some good carries, taking play into the Burton half.

Already down to 14 men, Burton's indiscipline was further penalised with a straight red card, after a Burton player was deemed over-zealous in his rucking at the breakdown. Burton down to 13 players, with about five minutes left of the Hooker's sin bin.

The Burton 13 defended well but eventually ran out of steam when Kavanagh crashed over from close range; conversion added, score 10-24.

Despite the return to the game of the Burton hooker, it was Kenilworth who scored their bonus point, fourth and best try of the afternoon; backs and forwards combined with the ball passing through several pairs of hands on the way to the Burton line. Andresen was twice involved in the move and scored 10 meters to the left of the posts. Morgan added a good conversion into the wind to make the score 10-29.

Burton now chasing a losing bonus point, and attacking in front of their own fans in the stand, the home backs rounded the stretched Kenilworth defence to score out wide. The conversion was missed leaving the score 15-29.

From the restart, Burton went straight back on the offensive, and countered well with some deft handling to again score, this time out wide. Burton missed the kick and with it the opportunity of earning a losing bonus point. Final score 20-29.


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