Keynsham v Clifton
Another big win
When Bredon Star cancelled our cup game we thought we might have a week-end without rugby. Fortunately our hosts Keynsham stepped into the breach, giving the boys a useful run-out.
As usual I lost count, but I'm told the final score was 65-0, which flattered us a lot and didn't do justice to a battling Keynsham side whose pre-season had been severely disrupted and who deserved a few scores of their own. Thanks to their boys and coaches and the ref, Paul, for a good game played (as ever) in excellent spirit.
We started with a bang, going 5-0 up with the first play, when Sam Read cut a beautiful line in the centre to carve through and offload for a lovely early score. We didn't really follow that up though, and for a while looked very scrappy, with ball being thrown around and no real structure. We stuck to the task though, and, with our defence as sound as ever, slowly went through the gears in attack.
As at Bath last week, our backs looked dangerous every time they got the ball, and we worked some lovely tries, notably for Ashe, who scored with his very first touch of the ball in a Clifton shirt, Sam Costley and Matt (another hat-trick). The most danger coming the other way we created ourselves, as we threw the ball around as if it was 7s tournament, risking interceptions, which a slicker team might have exploited.
The comedy highlight for me was a fly hack by Sam Costley back towards the forwards which Grubby caught as if it was a set play.
Our forwards were far too strong for Keynsham, and had we chosen to play a tight game we could have bullied them off the park. I'm glad we didn't, as our brand of helter-skelter rugby was far more entertaining, although it would perhaps have been more useful practice had we mixed forwards and backs play more. Our mauling was, however, excellent and our rucking certainly showed signs of improvement.
Several of our big boys crashed over, including Tom Sims, Louis and Herbie. Ryley showed that he can play in the centre and, although I don't think you would find his technique in many text books, that he can kick too.
Nick, the Keynsham coach said to me at the end "good luck in the cup, and heaven help whoever has to play you". I'm not sure we're as good as that, but if we can build on this early season form and work on the things we are not so good at we might have a decent season.