Brave Performance - despite result
By Mark Hodgkiss
A game which seemed far closer than the scoreline suggests, spoilt by the continual need to re-set scrums.
A number of the absentees from last week’s defeat were back, with Dini Noyo, Zane Butler and Jack Blakeney-Edwards returning. John Dervey, was out so Matthew Charters kept his place in the second row. After a good performance, after coming on at half time last weekend, Matthew Kaye, was rewarded by starting at scrum half.
A step up in quality, with last season’s runners up, Hull starting the day third in the league.
Kendal started well and probably looked the better team having more of the ball and territory, but a well drilled powerful Hull side always looked dangerous when they had the ball.
A cut forced Matthew Charters off after ten minutes, with Liam Ridley coming on, but ten minutes later, having received treatment on the touchline, Charters was back.
The game stayed scoreless until twenty five minutes of play. After putting in some good tackles to withstand the strong Hull attack, a few missed tackles down the left wing, opened up a gap for Hull to score a try which was converted. 0v7.
Kendal were however immediately back into the game. Good build up work on the left saw the ball moved to the right, and Zane Butler powered through to score. Jack Blakeney-Edwards put over the difficult conversion from close to the touchline to tie the scores again.
Whilst the two teams were even in most areas of the game, the Hull scrum was well on top, and as the half came to an end Kendal had to defend a number of scrums on their own line, and were made to pay for failing to put a clearing kick to touch, when they had an opportunity.
Garry Holmes was forced off, with Jack Lashley coming on at hooker.
As the Hull pack drove a scrum to the line, the referee awarded a penalty try. So Hull went in 7v14 up at half time.
Clearly the Hull coaching team had given their charges a good talking to at half time, and they stepped up several gears, but whilst dominating play they could not find a way through the Kendal defence.
The Kendal defensive effort was shown, after Hull outside half Simon Humberstone weaved his way through the Kendal defence, and seemed to have a clear run to the line, but Myles Harrop not only got back, but put in a try saving tackle to stop him near the line.
There was confusion after twenty minutes when Dom Musetti was forced off. Liam Ridley came on to replace him, but it appeared the Hull coaching team had to remind the referee that if Kendal were opting for passive scrums, they could not bring a replacement on. Liam Hayton moved to prop and the scrums continued to be contested.
Finally after half an hour’s play, Hull found a way through the Kendal defence, with centre Alexander Heard arriving at pace to score, after his pack had pounded the Kendal line. Outside half Simon Humberstone added the conversion. 7v21.
Two minutes later when Kendal were penalised at a ruck, rather than look for a further try, Simon Humberstone went for the posts 7v24.
As the game entered injury time Mark Carruthers came on for Glen Weightman.
Hull looked for a further score, but in injury time, Kendal almost got one of their own. Jack Blakeney-Edwards started a move in the Kendal twenty-two, with Zane Butler, Dini Noyo and Myles Harrop taking the move on, but the Hull defence got back to catch Harrop before he could score.
Steven Nelson was injured in the move, and had to go off with Glen Weightman returning in his place.
Despite numerous stoppages in the half, after playing eight minutes extra in the first, the referee blew for time after just four minutes extra.
Despite the scoreline, a very good performance, against one of the league’s strongest teams. At the end of the season Hull may rue their failure to add a bonus point, partly due to wasting time trying to demonstrate their dominance at the scrum, rather than keeping the ball moving, to open up gaps in the Kendal defence.
Despite the relative performances, results elsewhere mean Hull move up to second, whilst Kendal drop into the bottom three, but if the team can repeat this type of performance against the middle ranking teams, wins will come.
No game next weekend, and in a fortnight the team are away at Lymm. Harrogate are the next to visitors Mintbridge in three weeks time.
Your KENDAL MAN OF THE MATCH : Chris Downham
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