Kettering storm Fortress Fengate
Under 15s score 11 tries in a powerful display
After what seemed like an never ending break from rugby the under 15s finally returned to the field to face Peterborough. This would be the first time the teams had played with Peterborough being newly promoted to the Premiership. Pitch conditions were reasonably firm underfoot and fortunately the temperature had risen above recent brass monkey levels.
Peterborough kicked off and the lack of recent play showed as Kettering players let the ball bounce as if they didn't recognise what it was. Both teams were making handling errors but Peterborough showed greater tenacity and commitment to push forward as they pinned Kettering in their own 22 for over 5 minutes.
The siege was finally broken with a kick to touch and the first of several lineout steals from Alex King - setting the pattern for the game. The resulting possession was put to good use with Tasker Stables setting the backs into motion and Cameron Sharpe hitting a good straight line to break the defence and race up to the opposition 22 where he was well tackled into touch. The ball was stolen again and moved efficiently out wide for Josh Owen to score in the left corner. Henri was unable to convert into the breeze. 0-5.
Despite the setback Peterborough rallied strongly winning a scrum on their 10m line before setting their lightning fast right winger into space. He was brought to ground by Cam but affected an excellent offload to his support player who raced round to score under the posts with the extras added to take the lead. 7-5.
Kettering responded well to the challenge though and another line out steal inside the Peterborough half saw a commanding rolling maul sweep up to the home 22. The ball was released and having sucked many of the home defenders in it was comparatively straightforward for Joe Roberts-Nuttall to sweep home to the right of the posts. In a pattern that was to dominate the game the try went unconverted. A fund has now been launched to buy the team a kicking tee - to replace the battered flat cone that is older than most of the team. Please give generously.
There was still time in the half for tries from Chris Owen, Cam again and Josh Langley. There was some excellent supporting loose forward play from Dan Harley and Ben Beaverstock amongst others - claiming possession and regularly swooping to link up play and contribute to all 3 tries. Ed Drake-Lee showed some excellent form in the centre taking the ball up to the line well and kicking into space when the opportunity arose. All 3 tries were unconverted. HT - 7-25.
Kettering took the opportunity to bring on 5 replacements at half-time and the fresh legs showed immediate impact winning good ball to allow Louis Childs to make a searing break through the home defence. He was held up on the 5m line but the support was strong and Dom Ferrerira was on hand to charge his way over for a well worked try - once more unconverted. 7-30.
The next try wasn't long in coming. This time a sharp turnover from Kettering from a threatening Peterborough attack saw Chris feed Henri on half way. He had plenty of work to do but showed an excellent change of pace to skirt the covering defence and dive over for a try in the left corner - again without the extras. 7-35.
Despite the wealth of Kettering possession the home side were defending courageously and they did well to repel several Kettering moves that threatened their line. They made a clearing kick but when it didn't find touch Richard Barber brought it powerfully back up to their 22 before Ed broke the line and fed Chris who finished off a sweeping move out wide to the right. Shockingly the try was converted by Cam 7-42.
Peterborough continued battling strongly despite the scoreboard pressure and had several threatening breaks from deep in their own territory. However Kettering were still dominant in the loose and were able to turn over possession regularly before the ball reached their half and feed the backs - enabling them to score three more tries against a tiring Peterborough side.Joe's tackling efforts must be noted - showing his team mates how to hit low and hard. Firstly Cam ran in a long range try on the left, then Ed showed excellent support to finish off a good team handling move before Robbie Burrell made a strong line break before selflessly putting Cam away to score. All went unconverted. FT 7-57.
A strong squad performance from Kettering who were made to work hard by a combative Peterborough side still finding their feet in the league. Thanks to Peterborough for their hospitality and we look forward to meeting you again in a couple of weeks in the East Mids Cup Semi-Final.
And finally the Golden Butty Challenge returns for those of the porkie persuasion. An excellent effort this week improved even further by the surprise addition of a meaty sausage to my bacon bap - thanks Robin! Very filling and generously presented in a bap of soft bready goodness. The bacon was slightly underdone for my taste and I believe the HP sauce was once more conspicuous by its absence. However the club house facilities were first class and after some serious judging debate a final score of 7.5 was awarded. With just three rounds of the Golden Butty Challenge left this means that the heat is on for the remainder of the season to see which club will claim the coveted trophy. Tune in next week for more bacon munching foolery. And rugby.