Pack power ruled and it was the Rams who had it as they battered Canterbury to their biggest league defeat of the season.
This battle of the fourth and fifth placed clubs became a one-sided affair as the visitors took control of the second half and helped themselves to four tries.
The omens for the city club were not good when prop Jim Green pulled up injured in the pre-match warm-up. For a side already missing two experienced front row men in Tom Rogers and Aaron Cooper the challenge to contain the visitors scrummaging strength proved daunting.
Going into half time only four points behind Canterbury quickly came under heavy pressure after the break and when Jake Rigby was sin binned the Rams made them pay. The city side’s fourteen men responded bravely to hooker Ben Henderson’s second try of the game and centre Ricky Mackintosh’s storming finish, converted by Best, showed what might have been. However, when you are mostly on the back foot, as Canterbury were, attacking opportunities inevitably dried up.
Before Rigby returned the Redingensians scrum heaved the city pack backwards for Number Eight Robbie Stapley to touch down, Tom Humberstone landed the third of his five conversions and from that point the Rams took charge. It became a matter of containment for Canterbury who looked increasingly ragged under pressure and did not help themselves by gifting flanker Tom Vooght his side’s fifth try from a loose pass.
They were warned of the dangers to come early in the first half when a wheeled scrum was the prelude to Rams first try from centre Ellis Jones.
The city side led for the only time in the game in the 34th minutes after Ollie Best,who had opened his side’s account with an earlier penalty goal, was held short of the line but Rigby plunged over from the maul. There were other scoring chances, too, but they were not realised as the city men failed to convert the efficiency of their lineout operators into successful driving mauls. The Rams defended tenaciously and were quickly back in front through Henderson’s first touchdown.
Then came that testing second half where Redingensians’ rampant forwards made the final statement with a try from lock Ollie Taylor.
Canterbury: O.Best (repl D.Smart), B.Howard, J.J.Murray, T.Best, H.Sayers, C.Kingsman ( repl R.Mackintosh), D.Smart (repl K.Braithwaite), C.Townley, J.Otto (repl E.Deacon), S.Kenny, R.Cadman, M.Corker, J.Stephens, J.Rigby, M.Cantwell (repl S.Clark)