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1st XV - Match centre

Sat 9 Dec 14:00 - London & SE Division - Shepherd Neame Kent 2 Full time

Brockleians 29 - 0 Faversham

Castaways unable to break through resolute defence as Brockleians continue their unbeaten season.

Faversham endured a miserable away day in London against top-of-the-table Brockleians, failing to put any points on the board against a solid defence. Several Castaways put in impressive individual performances but a lack of team cohesion, both in attack and defence, meant their efforts went unrewarded.

Brockleians put their stamp on the game early on, overturning a usually reliable Faversham line-out in the 22 and trundling their subsequent maul onward towards the try line. Defenders splintered off from the rapidly reforming maul and attempted to circle back to obstruct the onward march, however the attacking pack had built up too much momentum and soon burrowed over the line for the league-leaders first points.

A second try followed shortly afterwards with the Brockleians pack again building up a powerful maul, this time opting to drive into the middle of the field to allow their backs to wrap around to overload the space the maul had just vacated. With defenders sucked in to try and slow the maul the backs played through an easy three-on-one to score in the corner.

Faversham went through phases where they looked competitive, Nathan Chapman had a particularly strong showing at hooker, proving to be a powerful ball carrier and unwavering tackler in his first competitive appearance. However, Faversham were unable to hold onto possession in crucial areas, spilling the ball or being overturned repeatedly in the opposition 22. To add salt to the wound, Brockleians countered to score again off a rolling maul to compound the visitors disappointing first half.

The Castaways had a much more positive approach in the second half. Captain Rhys McDermott led from the front, carrying hard into the heart into the opposing line but never managing to break clear through. Scrum-half Dave Tabor also proved potent, sniping from the base of rucks to find space behind, only to be held up by the covering defence and leaving the ball to go dead without supporting runners to pass to. The score-line could have been worse for the visitors had it not been for Bertie Sanders-Champney's man-of-the-match display. The Castaways' winger cleared up several attempted up-and-unders and counter-attacked effectively, returning the ball with interest with every carry.

While the individual performances helped keep Faversham heads high, the lack of defensive coordination and an inability to link-up to develop on the initial breaks meant the Castaways could not compete. They will certainly need to improve on this to challenge the top-half of the table.

Faversham next play at home to Lordswood on 16th December.

Score: Brockleians 29 - 0 Faversham

Team: E.Stott, N.Chapman, R.McDermott, T.Scamp, F.Iron, C.Harmsworth, K.Fiddler, S.Oatley, D.Tabor, J.Hodges, B.Sanders-Champney, B.Egleton, D.Hodges, D.Martins, J.Williams, P.Ehmann, D.Hall

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League table

# Team Pl Pts
1. Whitstable 16 71
2. Foots Cray 17 66
3. Brockleians 16 63
4. Lordswood 16 47
5. Bexley 16 41
6. Faversham 16 25
7. Dartford Valley 16 21

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