King’s 17 Farnham 18
Saturday 15th November 2014
14-man King’s came so close to holding off Farnham, before finally succumbing to a calmly struck penalty goal in the concluding moment of a vigorously contested match.
King’s unfortunately found themselves on the wrong side of the referee’s decisions throughout the game, and did not help themselves with some back-chat. Analysis of the game’s penalty count and pattern produces some statistically remarkable results for a closely contested, cleanly played rugby match: King’s were awarded just three penalty kicks for the entire match, to Farnham’s 16; and none of the King’s penalties was awarded in the Farnham half. The final scoring amounted to two goals and a dropped goal for King’s, to six penalty goals to Farnham. Congratulations to their kicker for capitalising on his opportunities.
Farnham established early territorial dominance in a spirited start, and deserved the 6-0 lead which they held for most of the first half. King’s performance was scrappy, with line-kicking, first-up tackling and handing all falling short of the team’s recent high standards. Alex Humphries earned a yellow card for a line-out infringement, and when this offence was repeated later in the half, the second yellow was inevitably converted to red. These events galvanised the team into an improved performance, leading to a rampaging try for prop Joe Mason (converted by Gareth Stoppani) just before half time.
Not to be outdone, fellow prop Jon Kiddle added his own try soon after the restart, and Stoppani added the extras. After a Farnham penalty goal, fly half Rory Jones’s fine drop goal opened up the score to 17-9 in King’s favour. King’s had significantly improved their focus and execution, but as the clock ran down, the manpower deficit began to tell, despite heroic defensive efforts led by Tom Dugarin and Louis Mather. Three Farnham penalty goals eroded and then at the last gasp overcame the King’s lead. Ultimately, it required a superb performance by King’s to deny any tries to Farnham.
London 2SW continues to produce some surprising results, and the Old Alleynians’ 10-30 thumping at Tadley means that our losing bonus point is enough to lift us into 4th place over the OAs on a superior points scored/conceded differential (+104 to +38).
Next Saturday we travel to old rivals Old Reigatian RFC, who were beaten 20-0 by the league-leading Cornish. Any team in this league can beat any other on the day, and King’s will need to consign a weird week to the history books, and resume business as usual.
King’s starting XV: Joe Mason, James Williams, Jon Kiddle; John Walton, Alex Humphries; Barry Williams, James Currie, Louis Mather; Will Slater, Rory Jones; Gareth Stoppani, Tom Dugarin, Luke Minors, Paddy Smith; Will Nelson. Bench: Ed Forshaw, Harry Kersley, Jonny Bell.
King’s scorers: T: Mason, Kiddle; C: Stoppani: 2; DG: Jones. P: 0. Farnham: P: 6.
Congratulations to the 2s for a fine win at Farnham. Apparently we were again on the wrong side of the referee. What is going on?