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Knights cruise to first win

Knights cruise to first win

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Stade Khmer rugby players (grey shorts) go up for a lineout against Sisowath Knights (white shirts with pink trim) Sunday.

Sisowath Knights beat the high flying Stade Khmer side 22-12 Sunday

THE Sisowath Knights claimed their first Cambodian Rugby Premiership win of the season Sunday by dominating early and cruising to a 22-12 win over top of the table Stade Khmer.

The Knights capitalised on continual poor lineout plays and a huge advantage in the scrum to race out to a 10-0 lead thanks to tries by number eight Dan Weatherall and Kane Stewart on the breakaway. Stade Khmer missed ample opportunities to score, the most telling one coming just before the first drinks break, when a pass out wide with the line begging went to ground.

The French-run side again struggled with set pieces after the interval as a lineout on the Knights’ try-line was stolen and cleared by Sisowath flyhalf Conrad Warren. Play continued downfield, when brilliant footwork by Warren almost resulted in a spectacular individual try. He beat three defenders and weaved through a scrambling defence before being cut down just short of the line, with flanker Rob Baker diving over just moments later to help the Knights take a commanding 15-0 lead into halftime.

Another try in the second half by Weatherall, after some heavy pressure on the Stade Khmer line, effectively sealed the win. Late tries to Stade Khmer centre Keuan Sangsa and substitute Em Sopheak helped make the score respectable, as the league leaders fell for the first time this season.

The fact that four forwards scored for the Knights was telling, as their pack completely dominated throughout the game at the breakdown and in the scrum. “Straight away I thought we had them in the set pieces,” halfback and captain Luke Wilkie said. “Scrums and line-outs, we felt like it was going to be our ball even when it was theirs. That made a big, big difference. It means we can slow the game down, and get [the ball] back.”

Stade Khmer fall to 2 wins and 1 loss, while Sisowath jump to 1-1.

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