Kings Norton 13 Coventrians 3
Midlands Four West (South)
KINGS moved into fifth place as they ended 2015 in winning fashion on Saturday when another howling wind and a wet and muddy pitch made open, running rugby almost impossible.
Both sets of forwards dominated much of the play but both packs had to work hard as they were given the runaround on the heavy ground due to many long range, wind-assisted clearance kicks.
Kings chose to play against the wind in the first period and this proved to be a wise decision. Coventrians pressed from the off and took an early lead by converting a close range penalty when Kings were penalised for illegally handling the ball while on the ground.
However, despite constant threats to break through a resolute home defence, this score proved to be the visitors’ only points gained in a tough but fairly played encounter.
As the first half developed Kings showed their strengths as the stronger home pack regularly worked the ball upfield, only to be pinned back through long clearances.
Covs missed a second penalty opportunity after 20 minutes and just before the half time whistle, following a period of forward pressure, Kings finally drove over the try line as Rob McGhee scored before skipper Shane Rees converted a difficult kick into the teeth of the wind to make it 7-3.
The second period saw Coventrians change their tactics and whenever they had possession they used their faster three-quarters to run at the Kings defence.
The poor weather conditions meant the game was no spectacle for the supporters as whenever possible the game was kept very tight by both teams.
At times Kings were pinned back and only resolute tackling and long clearance kicks saved their try-line from being breached.
To their credit, Coventrians tackled ferociously throughout but were unable to contain the home side’s enthusiasm to try and add to their score.
After conceding one easy penalty for indiscipline, the visitors eventually succumbed to another penalty, this time for offside at a ruck, both of which Rees slotted over from close range.
The final five minutes saw Coventrians desperately searching for a score through their backs working the ball upfield, but their sustained pressure was constantly repelled by good Kings defence.
Kings Norton now turn their attention to the third round of the Midland Junior Vase when they host Rugeley on Saturday, January 2 at 2.15pm.