In the absence of our regular correspondent who is on a one man drinking tour of the North East it falls to the less literate reporter to cover yesterday's game. King's arrived in dribs and drabs with the kit not quite last which didn't help matters. However, George Taylor's return journey from Wales took even longer so it was only at about 2.45 that the whole team were together.
This was clearly evident at the first scrum when King's allowed OA's No.8 and their man of the match, Maxwell Rust to run 40 yards off the base and all but reach the line. 10 minutes of OA pressure followed and eventually King's could not prevent the score.
Slowly King's roused themselves and begun to string some passages of play that looked like they might be able to stretch the OA's defence. Few would have believed what followed. In just 14 minutes, the first try at 3.21 and the last at 3.35, King's scored 5 tries. A few fortunate breaks from the kick offs saw King's storm upfield and claim five highly impressive and exuberant tries. Luke Minors got the first, Kristian Cook scored the second, then Tom Smith joined the party and then Kristian Cook claimed two more to complete a 10 minute hatrick which I don't believe I've seen before. From 0 - 7 down we were 31 - 7 up and this was against a team that was by no means a poor side.
OA refused to give up. They stormed back and earnt a well conceived try on the half time whistle.
31 - 12 at HT.
The second half was more disjointed as both sides suffered with fatigue and King's, as is their tendency, rested on their laurels. A few irritating injuries for King's saw them allow OA to creep back into the game reaching 31 to 24 down with just 2 minutes left on the clock. OA then had two bonus points. Should they be happy with this or go for broke. Pretty obviously they went for broke.
With tiring legs all-round King's eventually broke through the middle with another storming run from Edward Forshaw. Hauled down just short, OA threw themselves into the ruck to try to stop the score, a penalty would have been given but a quick pop out to the right and Tom Cobb scored his first try of the season.
So, in the end, King's claimed 5 points and OA had to settle for just one.
It was a good first game of the season and both teams can be reasonably happy with the performance. OA had a horrid 15 minutes but that apart were an equal to King’s for the rest of the game. King’s produced one of the most compelling 15 minutes of rugby I have ever seen and while it might be unreasonable to expect this for a longer period of the game this must surely be the aim.