Cantrbury endured a narrow defeat at the hand of Gravesend in their first outing of the season. The game began well, with physical defence and kick/chase pressure netting two 3-pointers from the boot of scrum half Scott Payne.
However, it was after this that Canterbury had a sustained memory lapse regarding the offside and ruck laws, with repeat infringements allowing Gravesend to pile on the pressure. Canterbury gave away a mass of penalties and Ollie Jaynes yellow carded.
During his time on the naughty step they conceded a try through midfield and another penalty. Furher ill discipline allowed Gravesend to extent their lead to 16-6 at half time with another try and penalty. After the break aggressive running from captain Brad Allchurch gave Canterbury some much-needed momentum, and fierce tackling kept Gravesend to a single penalty. Eventually the home defence softened enough to allow Allchurch to burrow over near the posts and Scott Payne continued his perfect day from the boot with the conversion and a penalty.
It wasn’t enough, however, as the narrow pitch and Gravesend’s organised defence allowed the Canterbury backs no room to complete the comeback. A lengthy PowerPoint presentation from Coach Pellet regarding the basic laws of the game will be in order before next week’s outing to Cliffe.
Man of the match goes to Captain Brad.