A Game of Three Thirds!
Conceding 24 unanswered points nearly let Westcombe Park back into the game, but Gs went on to a convincing victory in the Kent Cup.
Contrary to the weather forecast, we were greeted with a sunny and warm morning away to WP in our 1st Kent Cup game this season.
Gs got off to an unbelievably quick and positive start, startling WP and seeming to have made the fixture safe within 10 minutes. Welcome to Jo Sims, who made his club debut as fly-half and immediately demonstrated his worth, by getting quick recycled ball to Zac Filmer in the 1st and 3rd minutes leading to Gs first two tries, both subsequently converted by Zac.
Our 3rd try came just a minute later, following a Gs lineout and some lovely quick ball through all the backs hands to Tye, who ran home under the posts, again converted by Zac. 5 minutes played and with the score at 0-21, the referee felt the need to tell us that the game would be "called" at 50 points......were we to be in for a very early finish?
WP then settled a bit and perhaps the referee tried a little to even things up a bit, but in any event, unforced errors and infringements from Gs slowed our momentum. Substitutions in the 16th minute provided an opportunity for four sets of fresh legs one pair of which belonged to Jo Bettey, who immediately scored with a strong run (perhaps aided by an "innocent" obstruction by Tye running in support on the WP winger in pursuit). With the 4th try again converted by Zac, the score was 0-28 after 20'.
WP then enjoyed a spell of possession, which almost led to their 1st try, but for a Tye tackle 1m out. This should have been a warning sign for all, and probably would have been, but for Harry Gagg. Harry made a brilliant run from inside his own 22, almost stopping to ask the crowd for directions or his dad for a lift? A strong supporting run from Ned Warren and a beautifully timed offload to him from Harry, led to our 5th try and unconverted, a 33 point lead after 26'.....then it all went tits up for a bit!
WP scored just before half-time after Gs were guilty of bunching behind a ruck and leaving acres of space for the WP backs. 6' into the second half, a carbon copy of WPs 1st try closing the gap to 23 points. 4' later and a couple of missed tackles allowed WP to run one straight through the middle and gift them another 7 points, bringing the gap down to 16 points....4' later, another WP try and conversion and an unlikely WP comeback was on the cards with the scores at 24-33.
Gs remained calm (mostly!) and halted the WP comeback with a Tye try in the corner leaving a tricky conversion for Zac, which narrowly missed left. Gs then regained and maintained their early dominance with a final Zac try and conversion in the 58th minute, leaving the final score at 24-45.
I hate to single any particular players out for praise, but Jo Sims was excellent in his debut and Cookie had a brilliant game.
Rucks were good today, but we lost a few scrums, lineout are still work in progress, but a big improvement on last week. Ball handling and tackling were very good with only a few errors. Finally, I think we were guilty of some positional naivety at a couple of trucks, gifting backs space cheaply.....otherwise great stuff!