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Warriors Wet Exiles in Quarter Final Contest

Kent Exiles 13 - 33 South Wales Warriors

Available media:
View Match Programme

29-08-2011

The Exiles phenomenal season ended as they crashed out of the playoffs with a 33-13 loss to the South Wales Warriors. Having not made the post season since the 2009 Division 1 playoffs, the Exiles were disappointed not to advance in a game that promised so much.

As the rain hammered down right from kick off, the Exiles first few possessions ran three and out, while the Warriors didn’t fare much better although they moved the ball well on the ground. The rain eased just before South Wales opened the scoring with a 25 yard pass in the first quarter, the point after was blocked. Exiles Quarterback Zac Ritchie forced an immediate response as he lead the offense down the field to be capped off with a 10 yard touchdown pass to Audley Swain, again the point after was unsuccessful and the quarter ended tide at 6-6.

The second quarter followed much the same pattern as the first, while the visitors moved the ball better, the Exiles were unable to construct a drive. The home team were punished for their wastefulness as the Warriors scored on a 20 yard pass and a successful PAT, making the score 13-6 at half time.

A frustrating second half performance followed for the home team, having lost momentum by the end of the season, it seemed that nothing clicked on the day. South Wales were the first to open the 3rd quarter scoring on an 11 yard pass, converting the point after to make the score 20-6 and things began to look bleak for the Exiles.

However, it was a succession of passes to second year wide receiver Jon Miller that gave a ray of hope. After connecting several times, Miller broke free over the middle for a 52 yard touchdown. Bradley McManus converted the point after, South Wales lead 20-13.

Just as it felt like the Exiles could claw their way back into the game, the Warriors did what they had done all day and the defence could not hold the speed driven running game of the visitors, being caught on the sucker punch pass for a 38 yard and 9 yard score, both PAT’s were successful. With the clock inside 2 minutes and down by 20 in a 33-13 score, there was little the Exiles could do to extend their season.

In a total Exiles offensive performance of 536 yards, Zac Ritchie passed for 198 yards and Jon Miller finally achieved a 100 yard receiving game for the season.

Following the game, Exiles head coach Tony Bainbridge was philosophical, “losses like this hurt you and make you wonder if it’s all worth it. You have good games and bad games. But last year we were 0-10 and a relegated team with about 20 players turning up for the final game. Today we had 53 guys trying their best to beat a tough South Wales team in the quarter final”.

The Exiles finished the season as Division 2 East champions with a 7-1-2 record and one loss in the playoffs.

The Exiles have already begun preparations for the 2012 season., Full details can be found at www.kentexiles.co.uk.
 

 

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