Bromley RFC VS Canterbury II

Bromley RFC VS Canterbury II



Bromley RFC27Loss
Canterbury II29Win
Read about the game

Bromley RFC VS Canterbury 2s


Lots going on at the club on Saturday. The firsts welcomed Canterbury Seconds who arrived as champions an accolade they have been closing in on since September. The thirds were entertaining Odder, a touring side from Denmark, whom the club have close connections with. There was also a girls rugby demonstration taking place before the first team game and a barbeque on the sidelines. The seconds had a very tough assignment away at Canterbury in a top of the league clash.

The ones knew they were in for a long afternoon but had prepared accordingly. There were a few changes from last week with Carroll and Rippendale coming into the front row, Edmonds in the back row and Pope on the wing. The bench was completely different being made up of Croft, Simpson and Harding who was making his debut. The first few minutes of the game were nip and tuck but after five minutes Bromley eked out a penalty about thirty five metres out but head on to the posts which Johnny Griffiths slotted with a nicely weighted kick. The match settled with Canterbury in the ascendancy showing themselves to be a well oiled machine with all working parts in healthy order. The home side were on heavy defensive duties but held their own and it was apparent when they did get their hands on the ball they were not taking any risks, playing into a difficult crosswind and up the slope, as Griffiths and Hawkins peppered the opposition with high hanging kicks. The Canterbury back three dealt with this pretty well and their intentions were obvious as they continually ran the ball back and threatened to cut loose on a couple of occasions.

Bromley contained the away side for about fifteen minutes but pressure told and they scored a well constructed try close to the posts duly converted. Three minutes later Canterbury were awarded a penalty, one of many, on the halfway line – kick to the corner – no a shot at the posts was called and the ball was still rising as it sailed over. A class above the average kick at this level. Not to be deterred Bromley returned to the fray and began to exert some pressure themselves and after twenty five minutes they were rewarded with a kickable penalty which Griffiths calmly put over to leave the score at 6-10 with fifteen minutes still to navigate before the break. In that time Canterbury got up a real head of steam and put the home side under intense pressure but Bromley defended heroically but something had to give and seven minutes from the break a sidestepping Canterbury player crashed over for a converted try. Bromley now had to get to the break without conceding again but with the last play the opposition were in again and the halftime score was 6-22. Bromley had been under the cosh for long spells and only managed to make a few incursions into Canterbury’s twenty two. So it looked like a bit of a hill to climb for the home team in the second period.

Bromley started the half at a rate of knots driving hard down the middle of the pitch then swinging the ball left, quick recycle and then moved it sharply right creating a gap for winger Powell to cruise through and score in the right hand corner which was complimented by a super conversion by Griffiths. 13-22. Bromley now had their foot on the accelerator and five minutes later they were back for more with forwards and backs punching hard at the line. Ansell, being more refined, skipped through a couple of challenges to score and Bromley were right back in it at 18-22. There was the inevitable response from Canterbury and from another penalty, they stretched away to 18-25. Then we had the mother and father of all rainstorms for over ten minutes which handicapped both sides and a stalemate ensued.

The clouds parted and Bromley returned to attacking down the slope but were constantly thwarted by the peep peep of the whistle giving away numerous penalties and against a side as good as Canterbury this was not good. They hoofed the ball every time into Bromley’s twenty two and set up driving mauls on about four occasions. Bromley’s defence against this tactic was tremendous. With skill, grit and technique they constantly frustrated their opposite numbers and even when they did get over the line they were held up. Quick thinking by Hawkins eventually relieved the pressure and got Bromley down the park. They then set about creating a score to get them back in the game. They surged into Canterbury’s half and drove hard and recycled quickly drawing in the defence and when the moment was opportune they whizzed the ball left where winger Pope was running hard. He caught the ball and made his way to the line to score. Difficult conversion missed and it was a two point game with ten minutes to go. A battle royal was now on with both teams after territory and possession. Into injury time and Bromley are about thirty five metres out and to the left of the posts – peep – penalty Canterbury. No it is awarded to Bromley accompanied by raucous cheers from the touchline. Difficult kick but Johnny delivers 26-25. One minute to go, catch the kick off recycle and kick it off the park. From the kick off the ball is fumbled backwards but scooped up and taken to ground and Bromley protect the ball and ball carrier. Peep – Bromley diving over the top – really – and penalty to Canterbury. Easily kicked and Canterbury took the spoils 26-28.

This was desperately tough and disappointing for a Bromley team and coaching staff who had worked so hard both on and off the pitch to get to the standard that they showed today and have shown since Christmas. All seventeen players today gave their all and literally took Canterbury to the wire. Would be churlish to pick any one individual out because all were stars today but captain for the day Bobbie Brown deserves mention as he led from the front throughout the entire contest and set the tone in terms of playing and leadership. In the last two games Bromley have been denied in the last play and what could have been nine points was only four. Pretty hard to take but character building. As for Canterbury they are obviously a very good team and should be promoted. There has been a lot of noise about this but we can only leave these decisions to the powers that be.

The seconds made the trip to Canterbury to play their thirds who are also a very good side who I watched earlier in the season. The boys battled hard and were in the game for long periods but the home team pulled away to record a 20-32 win. Meanwhile, a third team squad of many took on Odder who also had quite a few players. A terrific match up ensued with the tourists winning 27-29. It was a great day at the club with festivities going on long into the night with a sit down curry for about 100. Results did not go our way today but we were highly competitive both on and off the field. Bromley Colts also have done really well winning their league with a great 32-7 win away to Elthamians a couple of weeks ago. Credit to all involved.

As far as I know, there are no games next weekend but the following Saturday the ones are at home to Deal and Betteshangar, another tough fixture, the seconds are away at Greenwich and the thirds are supposed to be playing Shooters Hill but I think that will not happen and it is possible another fixture can be arranged for them as this is the last round of league and merit table fixtures. Not the end of the season as the ones have a cup game away at Upminster and the twos have a Kent Shield semi final away to Vigo twos. Not sure of exact dates and times for those two fixtures yet.