Emphatic opening win for the Rams
The Rams secured a definitive 44 – 15 victory on the opening day of the season at Old Bath Road, also marking the Rams 600th league game
The Rams were in fine form, showing no signs of early season rustiness as they put seven tries past the Canterbury defence.
This earned the Rams a rare opening day win, which head coach Seb Reynolds alluded to as he spoke to us after the game saying, ‘I’m delighted with the performance as this is the first time in four attempts that we have won on the first day of a Nat 2 South season.
There were also a number of Rams players playing their first games for the club which Seb also addressed after the game saying, ‘I was really pleased for the guys making their debuts, Alex Seers controlled the game really well and Andrew Humberstone was excellent in the centre and then Andrew Denham was exceptional on the wing, so I’m really pleased for him.’
Canterbury began the game the brighter of the two sides with a spring in their step earning themselves a penalty within kicking distance, which Best converted assertively to put the first points of the afternoon on the board.
However, this was to be the only moment of joy in a tough half for Canterbury as the Rams replied quickly, steaming forward through their back line, when Seers cheekily dinked the ball over the top into the corner for Rossiter to gather and score on his 50th appearance for the club.
The Rams went on to ruthlessly dominate the rest of the first half scoring three more tries with no reply, all three coming in typical Rams fashion as the ever reliable Rams pack drove to the line each time after a penalty line out.
The away side was out of the tunnel early in the second half eagerly awaiting a chance at redemption and a potential miraculous second half comeback.
However, this statement of intent did not quite have the effect they might have hoped for as Smart knocked on the ball immediately from the kick off to put the Rams on the front foot once again.
After 45 minutes with the game going back and forth, the Rams whipped the ball wide to Bryant who weaved his way through the Canterbury defence to score a wonderful solo effort and resume the Rams onslaught in the second half.
Although this time Canterbury reacted well flying forward with pace and precision allowing Smart to take the ball over the line for the away sides first try of the afternoon.
This moment was short lived for Canterbury as the Rams advanced once again with Rossiter securing his second try of the afternoon following a brilliant looping pass from Seers to put the Rams winger in acres of space to run the ball over the line.
Once again Canterbury responded with Smart scoring his second try of the game, only for the away sides captain, Stapleton, to receive a yellow card, leaving the Rams to dominate the last ten minutes of the game scoring yet another try.
This brought their total to 44 and signaled the end of an entertaining afternoon of rugby at Old Bath Road
Rams 44 Canterbury 15
Tries: Rossiter 17, 57, Henderson 22, 29, Vooght 36, Bryant 46, Stapley C 68
Conversions: Seers 17, 46, 57
Penalties: Seers 64
Tries: Smart 48, 61
Conversions: Best 61
Penalties: Best 2
Referee: Joe James
Half time: 22 - 3
Man of the Match - Alex Seers pictured
Rams (15-9, then 1-8)
Richardson, Rossiter, Bryant, Humberstone, Denham, Seers, Lloyd, Kidd, Henderson, Baker, Taylor, Stapley C, Collis, Vooght, Stapley R
Replacements: Drew, Mcdonnell-Roberts, Thomson, Crame, Cole
Best, Mackintosh, Morgan, Sterling, Grimes, Young, Smart, Green, King, Kenny, Cadman, Corker, Stephens, Stapleton, Oliver
Replacements: Best T, Otto, Cooper, Murray, Cantwell