Troubling scenes as kick tennis has simply gone too far
Kick tennis is a part of rugby that many spectators, and even players, do not necessarily like, but begrudgingly accept that it is part of the modern game.
As much as the laws are tweaked to try and encourage keeping the ball in hand more, the idea of playing the game in the opponents’ half and trying to gain a territorial advantage is always a safer option. In inclement conditions, hoofing the ball as far away from your line seems even more alluring. However, it can sometimes go too far.
A Boxing Day encounter between the Bedford Blues and Jersey Reds at Goldington Road in the RFU Championship saw a sequence of kick tennis that would have left even the most enthusiastic fans yawning after a long Christmas. This was shared by the Championship on Twitter, who wisely decided that the clip required the Benny Hill theme added to it. Jersey got what they wanted in the end though with Bedford knocking on in their own 22, showing the benefit of kick tennis.
Take a look:
Every forward’s worst nightmare 🙈@BedfordBluesRFC @jerseyrfc #ChampRugby 🎾 pic.twitter.com/9Oq5JN0vcy
— Championship Rugby (@Champrugby) January 6, 2022
BEDORD BLUES: Rich Lane (capt), Matt Worley, Jamie Elliott, Ethan Grayson, Dean Adamson, Will Maisey, Alex Day (Connor Tupai 65); Joey Conway (Josh Pieterse 45), Jack Hughes (Jacob Fields 75), Ed Prowse (Karl Garside 45), Jordan Onojaife (Robin Williams 65), Luke Frost, Bailey Ransom, Joe Atkinson (Ollie Newman 54), Tui Uru (Oli Stedman 54). Unused: Pat Tapley
JERSEY REDS: Brendan Owen; Ryan Olowofela, Jack Roberts, Jordan Holgate, Will Brown (Harry Simmons 71, YC 72); Sam Leeming, James Elliott (James Mitchell 45, YC 71); James Flynn (Roy Godfrey 57), Eoghan Clarke, Steve Longwell (Luke Yendle 57), Sean O’Connor (Tom Everard 65), Macauley Cook, Max Argyle (Tom Pittman 79), Lewis Wynne (capt), Wes White (Alex Humfrey 61). Unused: Harry Doolan
REFEREE: George Selwood. Assistants: Darryl Chapman, Nick Marshall
Half Time: 18-5
Tries: Elliott 16, Hughes 38, Lane 78
Conversions: Maisey 16, 78
Penalties: Maisey 14, 36, 67
Tries: Clarke 21, 50, 63
Conversions: Leeming 50, 63