A first away win
In a game of two halves
Kings headed to Weybridge on a high after a convincing cup win the week before. Good availability again gave selectors a headache over starters.
With a longer warm-up than most are used to complete, the team lined up to receive the kick-off playing up-hill, and into the wind, in the first half (a potentially questionable decision having won the toss). It was a strong start for the travelling side, with structured play gaining a penalty that gave them a line-out within touching distance of the try line. A clean catch gave Kings a strong platform for a maul that never looked like being stopped and when the try had been awarded it was Paul Calaminus who's name was added to the scoresheet. The conversion missed, putting the score at 5-0.
From the resulting kick-off Kings confidence from the strong start strayed into overconfidence. An attempt to run it out was put under pressure from a quick Reed's backline forcing a handling error. This was picked up by Reed's backline and King's defence failed to properly reorganise meaning two phases later the score read 5-5.
Having re-grouped under the posts, Kings played in the structured manner that had seen them get their first try. A penalty in-front of the posts, and a sure boot from Neil Williams, the lead was restored, 8-5. From here kings pushed on, from 1-8 the forwards put their hand up to carry strongly, and the backs enjoying the quick ball this released. Several tries later including one straight from the training ground (ask hatrick man Josh Dhillon for the video), was enough for a comfortable half time lead.
The halftime team talk came with the score at c.32-5 (successful conversions guesstimated). Good availability meant an almost new backline took the field for the second half. This half started much the same as the last had finished with an adventurous kings side throwing the ball about, to be rewarded with another try. George Lane put his usual stamp on the game in the build-up, actively avoiding space to seek out, and dominate, contact.
After this kings settled into a slightly difficult phase, starved of possession, King's were asked to defend for nearly a quarter of the match. Alistair Cooper, Ollie Harris and Edward Reid doing the lions share of the tackling including one double hit to show that kings defence had toughened up from earlier in the season. In the small time of possession Kings did get, Greig Blackie realised that there was no clear dick of the day, and decided to butcher what was through to be a 5 on 1 opportunity. Making his claim for the title undeniable.
Alas even Kings spirited defence was not enough to keep Reed's at bay and eventually another try was conceded. Another change saw Edward Reid come off and winger Kris Gaworzewski enter the back row (a move we are informed he has been planning for a while). King's backs have had success in the back row recently and Kris's tackling performance was no different.
A tit-for-tat try scoring period ensued, with Robin Cumming chasing down a kick through from a slightly dubious field position (read 15m offside), and Reeds getting another score themselves. A final try after a spirited run from Reeds MoM saw the final score at 46-20 to the visitors.
Man of the Match went to Alistair Cooper as testament to the hard work in attack and defence from him and the rest of the King's forwards. Honourable mentions to the string pullers on the day Peter Wickham and Will Carter. A special thanks goes to Aayush Patel for playing at short notice.