Wellington faced unbeaten Keynsham on Saturday in their latest Western Counties North match.
Keynsham brought a large pack to Wellington on Saturday and showed why they are at the top of the table. They were well organised in defence, and ran hard and direct in attack.
The visitors dominated the early exchange in terms of territory, but it was not until the eighteenth minute that their powerful number eight Jack Weston picked up at the base of a scrum just outside the Welly twenty two. He got outside the host’s back row and made good ground running at the heart of the Wellington midfield before off-loading to openside Brad Newton who scored. With the conversion missed the visitors took a five-nil lead.
Neither side was able to gain any real domination although Wellington were able to gain ground due to the number of penalties conceded by the visitors. They redeemed themselves at the lineout however where they stole Wellington ball all afternoon with their excellent technique.
Five minutes before half time Wellington were awarded a penalty which if kicked would have seen them turn around only two points adrift. It was missed but from the resulting twenty two drop out Wellington regained possession and were pressing hard before an interception by Toby Williams saw him sprint clear to score under the posts. The resulting conversion by Sam Challenger made it twelve nil.
Keynsham conceded a penalty directly from the kick-off, which Matt Parsons converted to turn around at 12 – 3 down.
With the wind at their backs Wellington dominated long periods of the second half and a second penalty kick, then a drop goal from Parsons brought Welly back to within three points.
The last quarter saw Wellington lose prop Lee Wadham and Jamie Hayman to injuries,this did however allow another of last years under 18’s Tom Hawkins to make his first team debut. By now Keynsham had started to utilise their bulk in the forwards to good effect, dominating the scrum, and making good ground from the driving maul.
When Wellington conceded a five metre scrum with five minutes to go, Keynsham drove them back over the try line to score through their number eight, Weston.
The final score of 17 9 to the visitors probably flattered them as they only really had three opportunities to score, but as in the previous week they took their chances. Wellington although dominating for long periods didn’t, and it is worrying that they have now gone two matches without scoring a try. They have plenty of pace and skills in the backs, but at the moment are not able to release them.
There is no game next week due to the World Cup final, but the following week Wellington have another difficult trip, away to Matson.
Report; Mike Brewer