Vees fail to make chances pay
Vees come unstuck at Kilburn
Kilburn Cosmos 22
ON A cold and blustery day in North London Verulamians failed to turn possession into points and incurred a second defeat in a row against a resilient Kilburn Cosmos side.
Having put in an impressive performance in defeat the previous week the Vees looked out of sorts on their travels.
The game began at a ferocious pace with the visiting Vees recycling the ball quickly to work their way into Kilburn territory. With strong carrying from the forwards the Vees looked to take the initiative and take early points. However when possession was turned over cheaply Kilburn hacked clear. With no one covering behind it was left to scrum-half Rees to gather the ball, but he was met with a strong chase and conceded a penalty. The home side kicked the points to take an initial three point lead.
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A penalty was awarded to the Vees after Kilburn found themselves offside from a clearing kick. Rees tapped quickly and the Verulamians pack made good ground into the home team’s 22. The ball was worked blind before being swept across the pitch and after some good handling full-back Ricci slid in for a try in the corner, but Atkins missed the conversion.
From a lineout the Kilburn forwards drove into the Vees 22 and after a maul slowed they kept the ball tight. After a series of hard running drives from the home pack they managed to break Verulamians defence and crash over for a score. With the conversion missed Kilburn regained the lead at eight points to six. Verulamians poor first half continued when following a charge down from a 22 drop out wing Waters threw a pass which was intercepted and the winger looked on hopelessly as the home team extended their lead at half time to 15-5 after the conversion.
Verulamians came out for the second half looking to gather momentum and reverse the score line. The visitors picked up the pace with some great running rugby, with the likes of prop John and centres Paton and Choppin making inroads into the Kilburn defence. Their fine play was rewarded with a try when a clearing kick fell into the waiting arms of prop John. The tight-head showed an impressive turn of pace to run in a try unopposed. The conversion was missed but the momentum was now back with the Vees.
Within five minutes Verulamians drew level. With the pack continuing to provide good front foot ball for the backs the Vees broke through the Kilburn defence with John and Morgan running hard before the ball was spun wide to loosehead prop Graham on the wing who kept his composure to finish as well as any winger. Once again the conversion was missed but with the scores level Verulamians looked to push for victory.
Despite retaining possession well the Vees could not break down the Kilburn defence. With the Vees frustrated they began to lose their way and tried to force the issue but in doing so conceded several penalties to find themselves defending their own line.
With frustrations mounting the visitors gave away a further penalty and after flanker Matthews spoke out of turn questioning the referee’s decision he found himself sitting out the last 10 minutes. Kilburn used their advantage in numbers and laid siege to the Verulamians try line. After coming close on several occasions the Kilburn prop managed to wriggle free from one tackle and crash over the line to allow the home side to take victory at the death. With the conversion taken the Vees were denied a losing bonus point.
The Vees will have to improve their game and tactical awareness as they host promotion chasers London Welsh next weekend.
Verulamians: Graham, Bloomfield, John, Morgan, Wildey, Matthews, Westhead, Coyle, Rees, Atkins, Viner, Choppin, Paton, Waters, Ricci. Reps: Browne, Moralee, Buss.