Match report – Blackheath V Canterbury 1st XV
BLACKHEATH 40 CANTERBURY 12
By David Haigh
The league leaders took control of this game from the first minute and although Canterbury put in a determined second half effort they were outclassed. The pattern was set from the kick-off. Canterbury dropped it, Blackheath had field position and their backs sent full back Alex Brown over for the first of their six tries. Playing down the wind they were 28 points ahead in as many minutes with a bonus point secured and a convincing win looming. For Canterbury, it was a daunting prospect but it was some familiar failings in attack that hobbled them. They won a decent share of territory, put pressure on the Blackheath line, and made two clean breaks which should have produced tries. A strong home defence and that lack of a clinical finish denied them. At the other end it was a different story with Blackheath’s forceful carrying and a back division assured in its handling and running lines bringing further tries for Steve Leonard, Tom Ffitch and Archie Holland. Ffitch’s immaculate goal kicking put the boot into Canterbury even further. With the wind behind them the city side recovered their poise in the third quarter and were rewarded with close range tries from Jamie Stephens and Billy Young with Frank Reynolds adding a conversion. But with Blackheath increasingly in charge of the set scrums, where Canterbury missed the experience of Danny Herriott, who retired with a leg injury leg In the first half, they were able to manage the game comfortably. Holland burrowed over for his second try, converted by Ffitch, after Canterbury gave away one too many penalties and six minutes from the end scrum half Chris Bell darted through a gap for a smart individual touch down. Before this game Head Coach Matt Corker said it would be a test of how far his squad had come since the early days of the season. On this evidence, against a very good team, they still have plenty of ground to make up.
Canterbury: W.Waddington, G.Hilton, R.Gladdish, T.Best, F.Morgan, F.Reynolds, B.Cooper, B.Young, C.Macmillan, D.Herriott, D.Irvine, J.De Vries, J.Dengate, C.Murray, J.Stephens. Replacements: T.Williams, H.Furneaux, N.Morris, V.Meredith, E.O’Donoghue