Rugby: Berkswell race to early lead in comfortable win

Steve Wake reports on Berkswell & Balsall’s continued run of great form in their impressive home victory over Kidderminster in the Midlands West Division 2 (South) on Saturday 19th November 2011:

Berkswell & Balsall – 27 Kidderminster – 8

A try after just three minutes, by hooker Nick Waite, paved the way for Berkswell’s victory over Kidderminster. After then racing to a 15-0 lead inside twenty-one minutes, B’s took their foot off the accelerator and with the visitors showing greater second-half defensive resolve, the home win was less emphatic than had looked likely. It was an entertaining game for the Berkswell Vice Presidents to enjoy, following their lunch, and Kidderminster played their part in an open contest. Berkswell’s bonus point was earned early in the second half, after which they coasted to the final whistle.

Berkswell kicked-off down the slope and were soon camped in the visitor’s half. After an early driving maul Waite found himself clear with the ball and, in a style more suited to his three-quarter team-mates, threw a huge dummy to side-step the visiting full-back and go over for his try. Sam Bignall was wide with the conversion, but made up for it after 14 minutes, when he landed a long range penalty to increase the Berkswell lead to 8-0.

B’s went further ahead at the end of the first quarter; Bignall kicked a ball over the Kidderminster defence. Centre Dave McNidder gathered and fed Jamie Rusk on the wing, who sprinted 30 meters to score in the corner, with Bignall notching the extras. The visitors came into the game more after this score and exerted some pressure of their own on the Berkswell defence. Sound tackling and well organised cover held the visitors out, although Chris Pinner kicked a penalty for offside, to reduce the arrears by three points.

Minutes before halftime B’s increased their lead. The home forwards had established the advantage in the scrums, so when a penalty was awarded ten metres from the Kidderminster line, they elected for a scrum rather than a kick at goal. It proved to be the correct decision; the Berkswell pack pushed K’s over their own line and No.8 Mark Galpin touched the ball down for a 20-3 halftime lead.

Kidderminster raised their game in the second half and things were much more even. It was an open, free-flowing, encounter and both sides tried to play an expansive game. Berkswell earned their bonus point with their fourth try after an hours play; great work by Mike Walls and Joe Cart saw B’s make inroads into the visitor’s defence, the ball was played out to Sam Bignall at Outside Half and he crashed over the line for a try which he converted from the touchline.

Kidderminster had the final say with a consolation try in the 72nd minute. B’s had ample opportunity to clear the ball but failed to gain distance and K’s ran the ball back at them, and through the cover, for an unconverted try by Rob Matthews.

Scoring Summary:

Nick Waite (1)
Jamie Rusk (1)
Mark Galpin (1)
Sam Bignall (1)

Sam Bignall (1)

Sam Bignall (2)