|22nd September 2018||3.00pm||Beckenham||42-0||1st XV||LONDON 2 South East||Away|
BECKENHAM RFC 42 0 THANET WANDERERS
Wanderers are sunk on a soggy September afternoon.
The heavy South London traffic caused a delayed arrival and led to a curtailed warm-up for Wanderers. Injuries caused the absence of Jay Morbey, Reece Hougham and Sam Rolfe whilst Andy Letts and Stuart Plumridge were also unavailable. There was a league debut for Jimmy Robinson. Second team captain Stewart Box and Kris Finneran were back on first team duty and prop Jake Webster was welcomed back after injury.
Steady rain greeted the players and barely let up throughout. Marius Thompson kicked off and two minutes later was calling for his kicking tee for an ambitious attempt at a penalty from half way that slipped wide. Thanet were competing well but after ten minutes Beckenham built strongly before touching down for the opening try. Big tackles from Neil Wakefield and Robinson halted home attacks before a real bone cruncher from Charlie Knight stopped another. Full back Dan Hill broke well after taking a quick penalty and minutes later was cool under pressure to again clear. The second home try was a little fortuitous after a slip in clearing but the conversion was again good for 14-0 after 22 minutes. Finneran sped across field to make a likely try saving tackle. Wanderers defence was withstanding constant pressure but two penalties to Beckenham, deep into first half injury time put them in the danger zone. The driving maul from the line out led to try number three to put Thanet 21-0 down at the break.
Arek Janelzko had struggled after receiving a knock in the first half and now took a break with Jake Mcgee replacing him in the second row. Beckenham had had the better of the opening of the second half and secured their fourth try and a bonus point when a poor Thanet line-out saw the ball spilled and smartly whipped up by Beckenham to cross the line for 28-0. Walton had put in another fine performance at nine and was seamlessly replaced by Lewis Stone who showed his form had not suffered from limited game time. Wanderers were conceding too many penalties as they battled and Jay Sanford went on at hooker as Neil Wakefield took a very well earned break. Winger Jackson Perry grabbed a loose ball and hared away but was dragged back. The two wingers today have outstanding pace but their chances were very limited. Captain today Adam Gaddes takes every point scored against Wanderers personally and his defensive work was exemplary. As Wanderers refused to buckle Beckenham resorted to route one tactics utilising their forward strength in a succession of rolling mauls. When one was brought down, the most unlikely culprit was deemed to be Thanets number 10 Thompson who was the last to extricate himself from the pile of bodies. Down to fourteen players Thanet soon conceded seven more points but more determined defence and some rallying breaks from Dave Lemon put Wanderers on the front foot. Three penalties established them close to the home line but the line could not be breached and a quick break out found the gaps in Wanderers defence for the final try. The excellent boot of the home kicker made it six from six and a convincing win by 42-0 for Beckenham who maintain their position at the top of the table. Wanderers continue to languish at the bottom but there were clear signs that lessons are being learnt after three games played at the new level. There is encouraging news regarding Brett Scott and Warren Riddell-Broomfield who should resume full training soon after both breaking legs at the end of last season and Danny Clement is close to match fitness.
Chris Hood started today in the second row and competition with Jake Mcgee for the spot is raising both their games. Dan Hill sustained a cut in a try saving tackle at the end of a good shift, Stewart Box brought strength and edge to Thanets midfield but Kris Finneran had an excellent all round match and was Mike Ponds Man of the match. Due to evening work commitments he could not participate in the drink off His nominated replacement Kamil Wiecascek may have limited English but the consumption of a quick pint is an international skill of which he clearly is a master.
Horsham who have won one of their opening three games are the visitors to St Peters next Saturday. The match will be preceded by the Presidents lunch at 1pm. The 3s are also at home against Canterbury and the 2s who have won both of their opening games travel to East Peckham. All games kick off at 3PM.
SQUAD: Webster, Wakefield, Wiecascek, Hood, Janelzko, Gaddes (C.) Finneran, Lemon, Walton, Thompson, Perry, Box, Knight, Robinson, Hill, SUBS: Sanford, Mcgee Stone.
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