By Andrew Murphy
Kingston eased their way to an opening day victory over Imperial Medics 2nds to stamp their authority on a league they hope to win.
Kingston University’s first XV are hoping to bounce straight back up following their relegation last term, and they will be buoyed by their free scoring start to this campaign.
Both Paul Lucas and Josh Robinson bagged braces, whilst John Brooker amassed 27 points with hand and boot, though it could really have been more.
Kingston started brightly, with the lively full back, Brooker who registered KU’s first points of the afternoon with a well taken penalty shortly after the kick off.
In reality, it was a game in which the visitors were always favourites and they made their early dominance pay. Laurence Stephan finished well after a clever kick out wide for KU’s opening try.
What little early pressure Imperial could afford was soaked up well by the KU pack, who worked hard all afternoon to turn the ball over and maintain good territory.
Kingston looked dangerous with each attack and it wasn’t long before Josh Robinson used his pace to good effect, eluding Imperial’s forwards to score the first of his two tries.
After another Brooker penalty made it 18 points without reply, Imperial Medics finally made their presence known on the score sheet. Some strong rucking from the home side allowed Adrian McGrath to capitalise and score the Medics only try of the match.
Inevitably though, it wasn’t long before Kingston’s 18 point lead was re-established by Alastair Polis after Brooker had done well to bring the ball forward from a weak Imperial kick. That lead was extended almost immediately, with good hands and immense power from prop-forward Paul Lucas giving Kingston a handsome 32-7 lead at half time.
What little resistance the visitors were met with in the first half was almost non-existent in the second. Despite their best efforts, Imperial struggled to forge a meaningful attack, and Kingston were able to improve on their first half tally with a further 35 points in the second.
David Holby opened his account almost immediately after the restart, and Lucas added a second of his own as the ball started to move much more smoothly through KU hands.
Kingston’s speed of thought and reaction was allowing them to pull further away from their opponents. A quick tap and run after a clever turn over left Adam O’Leary to take the score past 50, soon to become 60, with a second Josh Robinson try.
There was just time for the impressive Brooker to cap his display off with a try of his own, converting it himself with the last kick of the game.
Its been a pleasant start to the new season for Kingston University who had already celebrated victory in the Rugby 10’s, but following last years relegation, coach Arran Cruickshanks is not getting carried away early on.
“Its a great win,” he said. “We had five or six freshers playing who really gelled straight away, hopefully we can start to gain some momentum.”
“We went down a league last season, but we hope to be competing in this league. We hope to win.”