Anchorians travelled to Whitstable with a changed side for their second
game of the season, where they faced stronger opposition that the
previous week from another promoted team.
Anchs started well and, despite an early missed penalty, deservedly took
the lead, when Will Rush went over in the corner following a lineout
drive and quick hands on the blind side from Jon Mann and Paul Knight.
With the conversion missed, the tide then turned with the home side
gaining the upper hand, particularly though their number 8 who was
making good ground from the base of the scrum. This period of play saw
Whitstable take the lead with two converted tries, both the result of
creating overlaps to beat the normally solid Anchs defence.
Anchs managed to hit back when they won good lineout ball through
player-coach Richard Kyle, drove and then moved the ball wide where a
well executed miss pass saw Taylor Parbutt score in the corner for a try
which Jon Mann converted from out wide.
With Anchs trailing 14 – 12 as half time approached, Whitstable again
went on attack and looked like extending their lead but were denied by
a superb covering tackle by Kenton Parbutt.
After half time Kenton showed his attacking abilities when he made a
superb break but was held up and a penalty was conceded. However,
with Anchs still on attack he eventually crossed the line for a converted
try which put Anchs back in the lead.
In a repeat of the first half, the match then started to go the way of the
home side and a converted try put Whitstable back in the lead 21 – 19.
Following an intercept they almost extended their lead but scrambling
defence from Anchs saved the day.
As the game wore on, Whitstable started to concede a number of
penalties and also received a yellow card for foul play. Anchs, on the
other hand, were clearly the fitter side and with a whole new front row
finished the game far stronger. Choosing to play the game at pace by
taking quick tap penalties they began to dominate play and Taylor
Parbutt added a second try which secured the bonus point for Anchs and
stretched the lead to 24 – 21.
In the time remaining Anchs established their dominance and scored
two further unconverted tries to Jon Mann and Ryan Lehane, who again
had a strong game in the Anchs pack in only his second match.
Anchs certainly had to work hard for their 34 – 21 victory, but have
secured a perfect start to the season with 10 points from their opening
two games. The efforts put in during the pre-season are clearly bearing
fruit and the team are playing an exciting (and winning) brand of rugby.
By Ian Brenton