Kenilworth open up gap thanks to bonus-point win
Kenilworth scored six tries in their first fixture of 2019 to secure a bonus-point victory and extend their lead at the top of Midlands Two West (South), writes Sophie Freestone.
Ed Hannam scored a hat-trick with Gareth Renowden (2) and Rhidian Booth also getting on the scoresheet.
The result means Kenilworth now hold a four-point advantage over second-placed Kidderminster who suffered a 22-21 defeat and the hands of Old Laurentians.
The opening stages of the match saw both sides exchange successful penalties before Rugby St Andrews scored the opening try mid-way through the first half, touching down in the right-hand corner to give them a 10-3 lead.
Kenilworth’s response was immediate, however, with Hannam scoring his first of the match.
The centre showed his skills to break through the defence and touch down to open the visitors’ account and close the gap to two points.
A penalty just past the half-hour mark extended Rugby St Andrews’ lead to five points but some superb work from Hannam just four minutes later put Kenilworth in front for the first time.
Hannam once again broke through the hosts’ defence, with Josh Emery adding the extras for a 15-13 lead.
With half-time looming, it looked as if Hannam would wrap up his hat-trick inside the opening 40 as he charged towards the line only to be pulled down just short. Renowden was in support, however, and the scrum-half was on hand to receive the offload and score on the left-hand side to extend his side’s advantage to seven points at the break.
Kenilworth started the second half strongly with a lineout five metres from the Rugby St Andrews line. A catch and drive followed with prop Rhidian Booth touching down to secure the bonus point.
Five minutes later, Ollie Burman showed his pace down the left after the hosts knocked the ball on. The winger sprinted up the touchline and almost made the line before passing inside to Renowden who was once again in support to touch down. Emery added the conversion to put Kenilworth into a commanding 32-13 lead.
With 70 minutes on the clock, Kenilworth continued to press the Rugby St Andrews defence and their efforts were rewarded after a well-worked backs move. The ball made its way from the lineout down the back line and into the hands of Hannam who touched down to secure his hat-trick and seal a comprehensive 37-13 victory for the visitors.
Kenilworth are back in league action tomorrow when they take on Silhillians at Glasshouse Lane (2.15pm).