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1st XV - Match centre

Stafford
Kidderminster
Sat 25 Mar 15:00 - Midlands Division - Midlands 2 West (North) Full time

KCRFC v Stafford (A) - Saturday 25th March

Stafford 0 KC’s 34

Despite the convincing scoreline KC’s were nowhere near their best but eventually inflicted a thirteenth defeat of the season on struggling Stafford and in the process notched up their second double and their second successive bonus point win to cement their mid table position in Mids 2 West (N).
With only two minutes on the clock outside centre George Morgan clearly stretched over the goal line to touch down for a try but the referee was unsighted and instead awarded Kidder a penalty in front of the posts for an earlier Stafford infringement and fullback Rhys Pritchard kicked the three points.
Ten minutes later,at a Stafford scrum just inside their own half good work by KC’s pack won another penalty which flyhalf Andy McLellan sent into the hosts’ 22 but the lineout was lost.Then,when Kidder’s backs were caught offside Stafford likewise kicked for touch in the 22 but their throw was not straight and the visitors were able to clear their lines.
With twenty five minutes played Stafford were seeing more of the ball but posing very little threat and the game was stuttering along,littered with mistakes by both sides. For their part,KC’s were keen to run the ball at every opportunity but their back line was very flat,leaving little room to work in,and careless passing and some questionable decision making led to a string of knock ons and there was just no continuity.
On the half hour mark a huge Stafford penalty to the right corner put them in a great position with a five metre lineout but they knocked on and after a couple of messy scrums Kidder were again able to clear.Possession continued to be frittered away by both teams until,with halftime approaching,a quickly taken tap penalty by skipper Chris Pinner in the Stafford 22 set up a ruck at which the hosts were again penalised,resulting in a yellow card.KC’s this time opted for a scrum and although Morgan was well tackled short of the line the forwards piled in and No 8 Jess Smith plunged over for the opening try,converted by Pritchard for a 10-0 interval lead.
The first forty minutes had been a very scrappy affair and not much of a spectacle but four second half KC’s tries put a different gloss on things altogether.After ten minutes a crunching tackle by Morgan stopped the home side in their tracks as they tried to run their way out of trouble and a frenetic passage of play ended with a scrum for Kidder in the 22 midway between the posts and the right touchline.The scrum ball was slow but was moved left and enough Stafford defenders were drawn in to create an overlap walk in for winger Ryan Tiene.
Moments after the restart Tiene followed up his try with a good tackle to get KC’s moving again and they were now looking much more like it.After a smart interchange by Morgan and second row Simon Clarke had dented the hosts’ defence a short pass by Pinner to James Rigsby almost sent the tighthead prop in under the posts but he was just unable to hang on to the ball.However,a concerted Kidder shove at the five metre scrum was backed up by pressure around the fringes to force a turnover and a KC’s put in ten metres out.The visitors were now well on top and after the phases had mounted up more scrum possession was moved to the left before being switched back inside and with Jack Tunstall,Tiene and Scott Lovell all prominent space was made for inside centre Ewan Thompson to go over for the third try and Pritchard added the extras.
The restart went dead to give KC’s a scrum on halfway but when a long Stafford kick found touch in the 22 the home side were able to exert some sustained pressure for the first time in the half and managed to create their only real try scoring opportunity of the whole game with an overlap on the right but they butchered the chance with a wild pass into touch.Kidder still had some more defending to do but looked fairly comfortable and a long wind assisted McLellan clearance kick eventually took play back into Stafford territory,enabling KC’s to go in search of the bonus point try.
A forwards drive had Stafford at full stretch,conceding a succession of penalties,and their defence,which had flirted with the offside line all afternoon and on more than one occasion had been borderline late at the tackle,became increasingly desperate leading to them again being reduced to fourteen men when their No 4 was yellow carded.
KC’s kept hammering away and inside the closing five minutes the elusive fourth try at last arrived as a clearance kick was run back at the home side and excellent handling by both forwards and backs was rounded off with a try under the posts for Pritchard which he duly converted.There was still time for one final flourish and with the last play of the match Smith crossed for his second try to ensure that an afternoon which had not been without its difficulties at least ended on a high note.
Next week KC’s entertain Stourbridge Lions in a much anticipated local derby - KO 3.00 pm.

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# Team Pl Pts
1. Stourbridge Lions 22 92
2. Camp Hill 22 90
3. Leek 22 84
4. Walsall 22 73
5. Tamworth 22 62
6. Kidderminster 22 54
7. Veseyans 22 42

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