Number eight Mikkel Andresen scored five tries as Kenilworth earned a second successive bonus point victory with a 66-22 defeat of Rugby St Andrews at Glasshouse Lane on Saturday, writes Sophie Freestone
The result sees Kenilworth move to top spot in the Midlands 2 West (South) table with a maximum of 10 points from their two league matches so far.
It was Andresen who kick-started Kenilworth's ten-try victory, when the powerful back rower was put into space just outside Rugby St Andrews' 22. The conversion from winger Josh Emery sailed through the uprights to give his side a 7-0 lead after just two minutes.
Kenilworth continued to pressurise the St Andrews defence in the opening stages and their efforts were rewarded after nine minutes with a turnover on half way. The ball made its way to Andresen who showed both his power and pace, handing off tackles on his way to the line with less than 10 minutes on the clock.
It then took less than five minutes for Kenilworth to add a third, this time through a driving maul following a five metre line out. Hooker Jack Read was at the back of the maul and touched down to score his first senior try. The conversion from Emery extended his side's lead to 19 points.
Despite the early deficit, Rugby St Andrews showed their attacking intent and scored their first try of the match after 20 minutes of play. Good hands saw the ball spread wide and into the arms of former Kenilworth player Will Morgan who dived over the line before adding the extras to make the score 19-7. Morgan then added to his points tally with a penalty to close the gap further to ten points in the 24th minute.
With just over half an hour on the clock Kenilworth then extended their lead with Andresen securing his hat trick. The number eight broke through the Rugby St Andrews defence to touch down by the posts to seal the hosts' bonus point. Emery's conversion sailed through the uprights for a 26-10 lead.
Rugby St Andrews cut the deficit on the stroke of half time, however, with a second try in the right corner. Morgan's conversion was successful to cut Kenilworth's advantage to nine points.
The second half began in the same way as the first with another try from Andresen. He once again showed his pace to race clear and touch down. Emery's conversion added the extras once more.
Kenilworth's sixth try of the afternoon came from another Rugby St Andrews knock on, allowing second row Jonny Openshaw to collect the loose ball in space. Openshaw then offloaded to Gareth Renowden and the fly half sprinted to the line. The two points from Emery's boot gave the hosts a 40-17 lead with just over 30 minutes to play.
The hosts then added to their points tally just three minutes later when a great carry from Tom Naismith, playing his first match at outside centre, took Kenilworth over the gain line. Quick thinking from the number 13 saw him offload to the supporting Andresen who crossed for his fifth of the match with Emery adding the extras.
Ed Rogers then added his name to the score sheet with the flanker showing his pace and footwork to jink through the defence and race over the line form the 22. Emery made no mistake with the conversion to take his side's total up to 57.
With 20 minutes remaining Rugby St Andrews crossed for their third try, once again making the most of good field position to spread the ball wide in the 22 and cross in the corner. That try took the visitors' points up to 22 with Kenilworth 35 points ahead.
With the match entering its final stages Kenilworth continued to press for further scores and a ninth try came when Renowden spotted a huge gap in the visitors' defence. The number 10 broke through the hole and sprinted to the line for his second of the match, touching down by the posts, with Emery slotting the two points.
Emery then went from place kicker to try scorer after some slick passing released the winger into space on the left to sprint to the line. That final try proved to be the last action of the afternoon as Kenilworth secured a comprehensive 66-22 victory.
The Glasshouse Lane outfit take a break from league rugby this weekend before travelling to Silhilllians on Saturday 29th September.