Rugby: UEL 17 King’s College 22
PUBLISHED: 10:54 03 December 2017
King’s College gained their first victory in two seasons as UEL fell victim to overconfidence for the second time this season.
Having beaten King’s comfortably with a scratch team in their first game of the season, UEL were concentrating too much on the bonus point needed to keep their promotion aspirations alive rather than the win itself.
This attitude was reinforced in the early stages of the game when UEL carried hard, dominated in the scrum and captain Lawrence Joel at fly half once again scored the simplest of tries.
On the front foot early in the game, UEL let the lead slip away from them as they took their foot off the gas, conceding two tries to go behind.
Joel managed to claw points back with a kick from by the touchline on King’s 10-metre line, butt it wasn’t enough to change the momentum.
That was done by the back row in the second half, as Tom Courtney at number eight and openside flanker Nathan Musho’d upped their games, stepping up to carry hard, busting through tackles and bouncing off defenders.
Debutant Jeffrey Effah-Poku was also immense around the pitch, in the scrum and when carrying, constantly needing multiple men to haul down his giant frame in a man-of-the-match display.
Finlay McDonald was industrious at inside centre and Cassius Cracknell offered speed at outside centre, both playing out of position.
But UEL were not helped by the loss of yet another hooker in David White to injury, forcing uncontested scrums, which helped King’s.
This resulted in reserve scrum-half Rob Woodgate joining the scrum, soon to followed by the reserve winger Tashan Best and reserve centre Harry Walker also joining the pack.
Despite another try from Joel and Walker’s ever abrasive impact no matter where he plays on the pitch, King’s were able to stay marginally in front with another two tries.
UEL threatened to snatch the game at the end with King’s just clinging on, helped by UEL’s handling letting them down as they tried to force the score.
While it was a disappointing result for UEL, the heart shown at the end was magnificent, if unfortunate that the final score didn’t come, and they will hope to go into the Christmas break on a high next week.
UEL: Jeffrey Effah-Poku; David White; Mason Durand; Brandon Cooke; Jake Herridge; Callum Griffin; Nathan Musho’d; Tom Courtney; Tony Knowles; Lawrence Joel; Jake Roberts; Finlay McDonald; Cassius Cracknell; Tim Eves; Shem Reid; Rob Woodgate; Tashan Best; Harry Walker.