A long way to go. Hykeham 2nd XV fall flat on the road.
Hykeham headed out for the drive to Kesteven with optimism and a strong side. Upon arrival the news of uncontested scrums perhaps dismayed the pack, reducing one of their biggest strengths in previous games to a tame encounter. Despite this confidence seemed high during the warm up with fast hands and focused players.
At the kick off Hykeham took control and dominated reclaiming possession of the ball. Hykeham played well with the first two phases pushing Kesteven's defence to respond to what seemed like a fast attempt at a try however due to handling errors during the third phase the ball was picked up by Kesteven allowing them to score a converted try.
Lack of aggression soon put Hykeham back inside their twenty two where their true character began to shine defending their line with hit after hit being blocked unfortunately despite the excellent defending Kesteven finally broke through allowing them to score again.
This was the kick that Hykeham needed to put heads back in the game with some fast passes between the forwards and backs and strong running from man of the match Harry Reid it looked like Hykeham was set to put a score on the board unfortunately handling errors meant that the ball was again turned over to Kesteven.
The drive that Hykeham had proven to have inside of them seemed to dissipate throughout the remaining minutes of the first half leaving them on the defensive and allowing Kesteven to score a penalty. The talk at half time was of discipline, aggression and the character that was needed to win the game.
Hykeham did not disappoint with hard hitting tackles made by the forwards and fast running by the backs Hykeham soon found themselves back inside Kesteven's twenty two this time they didn't leave empty handed with an unconverted try scored by fullback Max Foster.
The spark had now been lit Hykeham constantly forced their way down to Kesteven's twenty two with handling errors being the only thing that let them down allowing Kesteven to turn the ball over each time. Kesteven made good use of the their greater size and strength in the backs and simply battered Hykeham down the pitch. Too late, the 2nd XV found the much needed aggression and played the match out in what became a more even physical contest.
There were some high points. The Man of the Match performance of Harry Reid at second row and the grit and determination during short periods of the game were highlights in a poor overall performance. As it say in the title the team have a lot to learn. There were too many spells when players in all positions went missing, handling areas were far to prevalent and they did not adapt to the game being played with an unacceptably high penalty count.
Improvement is required.
Author: Rob Sturge