Owen Bruynseels scored a hat-trick of tries as Ealing Trailfinders overcame a slow start to score eight tries and claim a bonus-point 48-19 away win over a limited Canterbury side on Saturday, writes Arthur Lewis.
Canterbury wing Michael Melford opened the scoring with a try on five minutes, hacking the ball ahead after a loose pass on halfway and beating Ealing fullback Paddy Gill to touch down.
Unfazed, Ealing were soon ahead when centre Mark Tucker broke through some limp tackles to stroll in under the posts following a five-metre scrum. Ben Ward's conversion made it 7-5.
Canterbury retaliated almost immediately with centre Ben Thomas running in a try that flyhalf Gerd De Kock converted.
Despite leading 12-7, Canterbury were struggling to contain Ealing's threat and were consistently penalised in the ruck. Eventually referee Guy Steele-Bodger lost patience and showed Canterbury openside Nick McTaggart a yellow card.
Ealing were soon on level terms when Bruynseels crossed for his first try following a break by Neville Edwards to round off a sustained period of pressure.
Wing David Howells restored Ealing's lead with a well taken try, beating four Canterbury defenders in a blistering run from half-way.
Ealing Number eight Mark Lock rounded off the half with a try following a break by substitute Joe Price and off-load by flanker Jay King to secure the bonus point and give the visitors a 22-12 lead at the interval.
Canterbury were reduced to 14 for the second time early in the second half when prop Matt Pinnick was shown yellow for a professional foul. Ealing capitalised immediately, electing for a scrum from the penalty and scrum-half
Dan Smaje made light work of a two-on-one to send in Howells for his second.
Ward added the extras to give Ealing a comfortable 29-12 lead.
Although they were dominating in all aspects of the game, Ealing were unable to finish off a number of gilt-edged chances and it took nearly 20 minutes to add to their score when Bruynseels dropped on a loose ball over the Canterbury goal line following another excellent run by Edwards.
The home side did manage a try after Ealing hooker Andrew Dalgleish was sent to the bin and De Kock kicked the conversion to close the gap to 34-19.
In the closing minutes Ealing raised their game again and scored two more tries, but it could have been more. First, Bruynseels completed his hat-trick following a sustained build up before Sungo Kuwana bulldozed over in the final act of the game.
This weekend, Ealing host Dings Crusaders at Vallis Way (3pm). For more information, visit www.ealingrugby.co.uk