A fine day greeted the teams in front of a decent crowd at Motspur Park. Warlingham, fresh from their fine victory over Cornish, started the game at a fast pace and King’s struggled to get any possession. After just 2 minutes Warlingham’s strong centre set up a ruck just short of the line and an easy blind side overlap saw Warlingham’s winger score in the corner. The game continued to favour Warlingham for the next 20 minutes with just a Gareth Stoppani penalty for King’s showing any glimmer of hope for the home side.
Then everything changed following a chip and chase out of defence by Paddy Smith. Somehow following another passage of play the Warlingham hooker went down with what looked like a pulled muscle or maybe a knock from the previous passage of play. Warlingham had to move their influential 7 to throw in and their lineout never looked the same. Then, after a long range penalty was missed by Stoppani, Warlingham attempted to clear the resulting 22 with a long kick. However John Walton moved his large frame in the way and the ball rebounded all the way back to the try line. It hit the post and rebounded back into play and Walton followed up to make the tackle and create a 5m scrum to King’s.
From there a swift play to the right and Warlingham conceded a penalty and a yellow card. The following lineout was secured by King’s and the drive against the weakened Warlingham pack ended with Sam Young scoring his first try for King’s.
King’s then had the first of two purple patches and two more tries followed in the last 10 minutes of the half. Stoppani was succesful with a penalty and then Paddy Smith scored following a chip by Rory Jones that was gathered by Harrison Scowsill and after exchanges between Smith, Scowsill and Tom Dugarin, it was Smith who ended up over the line. Then after several outrageous passes from Jones it was Jones himself who forced his way over the Warlingham line. Finally Stoppani was successful with the kick.
The last play of the half saw a successful Warlingham penalty kick to make the score 23 to 8 at half time.
The second half began with an exchange of penalties but then Stoppani burst clear and only scrambling and illegal defence stopped Dugarin scoring. The penalty went to touch and another lineout drive saw Captain, Jonny Kiddle burst away to clinch the bonus point try and Stoppani’s conversion pushed King’s lead to 22 points.
Stoppani then decided to have a rest for ten minutes claiming complete innocence of any wrongdoing at a ruck. Warlingham sensed their chance and spent the 10 minute sin bin period battering at the King’s line. Exactly on the ten minute period they got their reward as their pack eventually found a way over.
The Warlingham spectators sensed a comeback and at 33 to 16 it wasn’t out of the question. However King’s responded with the second purple patch and scored three more tries in the final ten minutes. Firstly a good interchange of passes by Smith, Scowsill and Luke Minors saw Stoppani into the corner and then Stoppani scored in the identical corner following a good pass from Barry Williams had put Dugarin clear. Finally Rory Jones sent over an inch perfect cross field kick for Dugarin to score in the far right corner. Stoppani converted both the final two tries to make the score 52 to 16.
Warlingham seemed shocked at the size of the defeat and on any other day the game could and should have been closer. King’s scored some lovely tries through the very ambition they had been criticised for in previous games. The colder, wetter weather will be here soon and King’s will need to tighten up their game to keep winning as well as this.
King's scorers: T; Stoppani(2), Young, Smith P, Jones, Kiddle, Dugarin, C; Stoppani(4), P: Stoppani (3)
Man of the Match: John Walton, honorable mentions to Rory Jones and Joe Mason