Blos­som­ing Blues hit top spot after com­fort­able win

‘We blew them away in that last 20 min­utes, they just couldn’t live with us’

Kentish Gazette Canterbury & District - - Rugby -

Whit­stable swept to the top of Shep­herd Neame Kent 2 on Saturday after pro­duc­ing an im­pres­sive per­for­mance at home to Footscray. Only two points sep­a­rated the teams going into the fi­nal quar­ter at Reeves Way but Whit­stable’s su­pe­rior fit­ness told as they pulled clear to ex­tend their win­ning start to three games. The Blues lead the ta­ble on points dif­fer­ence from Brock­leians and player-coach Mal Graves says they are al­ready show­ing they have learned lessons from last sea­son when pro­mo­tion just eluded them. He said: “The team’s ma­tur­ing, they’re not young boys any more, they’re young men. They know the game plan and the dif­fer­ence from last year al­ready is that we are be­ing more clin­i­cal. “They (Footscray) were still in touch with us after an hour but I’d said that they would tire be­cause they were heav­ier than us and that’s what hap­pened. We blew them away in that last 20 min­utes, they just couldn’t live with us and it’s a sign of where we’re at that we got five points, they got none and we still came off think­ing we’d left a bit out on the pitch.” Footscray – pre­vi­ously un­beaten – were one of Whit­stable’s pro­mo­tion ri­vals last sea­son and they struck first when they scored a con­verted try after the home side had failed to exit their 22. Scrum-half An­drew Huey kicked a penalty to get Whit­stable on the board and he then con­verted Luke Pep­per’s try be­fore adding two more penal­ties, the sec­ond of which came just be­fore half-time to give his side a lift. Robert Hud­son claimed the home side’s sec­ond try, again con­verted by Huey, who added an­other penalty be­fore tries from Andy Till and im­pres­sive No.10 Marck Olive put the game be­yond doubt. Huey con­verted the penul­ti­mate try tak­ing his per­sonal haul to 18 points and 38 in the last two matches. Whit­stable have racked up 151 points in win­ning their first three games – 49 more than near­est ri­vals Brock­lians. Whit­stable are due to host Croy­don in the Ju­nior Vase this week­end be­fore re­sum­ing their league cam­paign with a derby at Faver­sham on Saturday, Oc­to­ber 21.

Pic­ture: Chris Davey FM4951281

Whit­stable hooker Ben Cliff and team-mate Marc Har­ris se­cure pos­ses­sion against Footscray

Left, Whit­stable scrum-half An­drew Huey looks to get his backs mov­ing against Footscray with Rob Hud­son in sup­port, and right, play­er­coach Mal Graves car­ries

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