Yet again a much changed side made the trip down to Andover. No side can compete properly at this level with 10 or more changes every week. However the King’s side competed well at Andover and without the final ten minutes could have even sneaked a win.
In a competitive first 70 minutes Andover scored the first 10 points but then King’s played some good rugby to score a try through returning scrum half, Will Slater. The score remained at 10 to 5 for the next 40 minutes and if anything King’s looked the more likely to score. Several times they were just a few meters away but they couldn’t quite get over the line.
With 10 minutes to go, Andover made, just about, there first real foray into King’s 22 and crucially Brett Williams was adjudged to have taken the scrum half too early and received the third yellow card of the day. This was the turning moment as the King’s scrum had struggled all day against the impressive Andover pack. From the resulting penalty Andover selected a scrum and pushed King’s back and over for the first of three push over tries. The second came with only seconds to go and then with King’s still with 14 on the pitch Andover got within range and after an impressive 20 meter scrum drive they picked and went several times before eventually breaching the King’s line for the fourth and bonus point try.
The game was well reffed throughout and King’s can have no grumbles about the eventual result and deserve credit for playing so well for so long in the game.
Finally we wish Andover well in their relegation battle. It was a strange moment after the game when yours truly received a phone call claiming to be from Portsmouth asking for the score. The caller refused to give their name but there seemed no reason not to tell them. On inquiring about the Portsmouth score we were told Portsmouth had lost 10 20. Andover were obviously delighted at this news to only find out 2 minutes later that the caller was fibbing and Portsmouth had won. A strange and rather unpleasant thing to do and not my idea of fair play. Some people.
Next week we face a much improved Effingham side and will need our best players to prevent them from staging a remarkable relegation escape.