1st xv Match Reports 2017-2018

1st xv v Kettering 17th February 2018

Leighton Buzzard welcomed Kettering rugby club to Wrights Meadow for the latest match in the Midlands 1 east campaign. With a strong travelling support and a top 3 position this was always going to be a tough fight for the Leighton boys.

 

Leighton made the stronger start and were soon pressing the visitors line but the well organised defence of the Kettering team kept the home side out. A counter attack stretched the Leighton defence and Kettering were soon 5 points ahead. This was followed ten minutes later by a penalty to stretch the lead to 0-8.

Leighton were playing well but could breach the visitors’ defences. When Kettering had the ball and started to make yards Leighton had to work hard in defence and managed to repel the advances until a missed tackle allowed a break through the centres and Kettering were 15 points up at half time.

Leighton started to drive through the middle and managed to pick up penalties for infringements in the 22 area. This resulted in Ollie Taylor stepping up and collecting 6 points to narrow the lead. Kettering were always dangerous and extended their lead with another try when Leighton managed to get one back through former captain Euan Irwin bursting through the centre. Conversion by Taylor made it 13-22. .Kettering pulled ahead scoring their fourth try to make it 13- 29 but Arran Perry managed to add to the Leighton total with another well worked try. 18-29.

Kettering were not finished and showed their fitness and skills to add one more try and, with the final kick of the match added a penalty to make the final score 18-37 in the visitors’ favour.

Director of Rugby Dave Larham, standing in for coach Tom Mowbray who was celebrating the birth of his son on Friday, said “We should be justifiably proud of certain elements of our performance. We were forced to make several enforced changes to our team and knew the qualities that Kettering would bring. Our pre-match focus was to earn their respect and build on our last two winning performances. Against higher quality opposition, I felt we performed better than when we won recent games against Bugbrooke and then Huntingdon & District. There were several stand out performances, however I felt it was all of the players raising their game to attain a competitive standard for most parts of the 80 minutes.” Next week the Buzzards travel to Biggleswade RFC in the semi-final of the Bedfordshire RFU Cup.