1st XV
Sat 23 Mar 2024  ·  National League 2 West
Hinckley Rugby Club
1st XV
Tries: A Pope, A Reed, B Pointon, C Dacey (2), J Ramshaw, M LambConversions: C Dacey (4)
Dudley Kingswinford
Eight try Hinckley condemn Dudley K’s to the drop

Eight try Hinckley condemn Dudley K’s to the drop

Nick Robinson24 Mar - 20:22
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Hinckley 50 Dudley Kingswinford 20

Hinckley returned to winning ways at Leicester Road on Saturday in what turned out to be a comfortable victory against struggling Dudley Kingswinford. Hornets ran in eight tries against three for the Black Country men who now find themselves condemned to relegation with three matches to go. It wasn’t quite the romp it may appear, however, as Hinckley found themselves struggling to find any cohesion in the first period and found themselves 17-20 down at the break. The second half was a different matter, however, as Hornets responded with 33 unanswered points and ended the game scoring almost at will. It was a happy ending to what had appeared at times a very indifferent performance.

DOR Chris Campbell, while expressing some relief that his men had turned the corner after a difficult few weeks recognised that it wasn’t quite the stroll in the park the score might suggest. ‘It was a game of two halves. In the first half we were slow and well off the pace both in attack and defence. I think the ease with which we scored through Mitch Lamb in our first meaningful attack may have resulted in some complacency if I’m honest and, although we scored two more tries, we should never have gone in three points down.’

‘The coaches, however, were excellent at half time. They focused on the right areas and, by contrast, in the second half, I thought we were superb. Jamie Dutton managed the areas very well, we never looked like conceding, and scored some fantastic tries.’

‘I was really pleased to see a number of the new lads flourish as well with both Ali Reed and Aaron Pope getting on the scoreboard, and Luke Johnson and Josh Leonard, who have been excellent for the Staghounds this year, getting a run.’

‘It’s been a tough month, there’s no hiding from it, but we have most of the injured players returning as we go into the last month and we hope to make April really exciting!’

The early exchanges saw Dudley very much in command as Hornets hardly moved beyond their own 22m and it was no surprise when fly-half Fred Morgan slotted a penalty from 30m to give the visitors the lead after four minutes.

Hornets responded with the first try nine minutes later when a penalty line-out on the Dudley 22 was driven to 15m, then released right for Mitch Lamb to scythe through the visitors’ defence with nonchalant ease. Callum Dacey added the extras and it looked like Hornets may be on their way.

It didn’t happen. Just a couple of minutes later Alex Salt uncharacteristically dropped a kick on his own 22m to concede a scrum and, from the scrum, centre Ryan Smitheman was eventually able to power through for the score and the lead.

It got worse for Hornets on 26 minutes when they were penalised for handling in the ruck and Dudley were able to set up a 5m line-out. The ball was released left and a long miss-pass found winger George Bennet out wide with a clear run to the line. He didn’t need a second invitation. Morgan added the extras to make it 15-7.

Hornets were beginning to show some dominance in the scrum and secured a scrum penalty deep in the Dudley 22m. From the scrum, Salt picked up and fed the ball right. A charging Jack Ramshaw got on the end of the ball and broke through for the score.

But it only took three minutes for Dudley to restore their lead, when a stunning break from the back of a ruck near halfway by tight-head James Ryan saw him hauled down just 5m from the Hinckley line. From there, however, it was a relatively easy matter for Dudley to work the ball to the line, with Ryan himself claiming the score.

That should have seen the end of proceedings for the half but there was still time for Hornets to grab an important third try. Dudley knocked on from the restart, Ben Pointon collected and made ground before offloading to Sam Greening who carried to 10m. The ball was recycled and a lovely long pass from Jamie Dutton found Dacey out wide to run the ball in. That took the score to 17-20 at the interval and the referee blew for the break.

The restart almost saw Dudley extend their lead in the opening minutes but, once they had been repelled, the game turned very definitely in Hinckley’s favour.

A penalty line-out just inside the Dudley 22m was claimed and fed along the line for Dacey to go in for his second and then add the extras. With the Hornets scrum increasingly dominant, a drive at a scrum 5m from the Dudley line was rewarded with a penalty try. Ten minutes later, Hinckley stole a line-out on halfway, Pointon broke and unbelievably bounced off several tackles for a spectacular try, albeit one that would have sent the Dudley defence coach apoplectic. When Dacey converted, what had been a three-point deficit at half-time had become a 38-20 advantage in less than twenty minutes. Hinckley were now in total control.

Next it was Ali Reed’s turn. A Hinckley scrum on halfway was sent left, chipped through, and Reed was able to collect the ball and go over for the score – 43-20. And then with time running out, Aaron Pope was able to put the icing on the cake with a nice try out wide. Dacey added the extras to break the half-century for Hornets.

What had looked a tight game at half-time had in the end turned into what looked very much like a rout.

Nick Robinson

Match details

Match date

Sat 23 Mar 2024




National League 2 West

League position

Dudley Kingswinford
Team overview
Further reading

Team Sponsors

Community Rugby Partner - DPD
Hinckley Rugby Community Partner - Thomas Flavell & Sons