Isle of Wight RFC 1XV 51-3 Andover RFC 2XV by Dave Metcalfe
After last week’s cup win, IW opened their Hampshire 1 season with what turned out to be a comfortable win after subduing an aggressive Andover 2nd XV. With a Lewis Murray penalty to take the lead, the home side then lost player/coach Alex Augustus, causing a backline reshuffle. Andover came back with a penalty of their own.
Pressurising the visitors in their own 22, quick thinking and actions saw Biffa man of the match Dave Blackman take a quick lineout to Andrew Brown to score. A chase of a deep kick allowed debutant Luke Blackman to collect the ball and feed Andy Rann. This was quickly offloaded to Dave Blackman to add the second try, Murray adding the kick and a further penalty.
Andover pressurised the home scrum and carried the ball aggressively, but stout and resolute defence held them at bay. Then, from an Island lineout, Tom Marriott sneaked through a gap and added to the score, the kick converted for a 25-3 advantage.
Turning round with a comfortable cushion, the home side were encouraged by the gaps that were appearing. George Huish burst through on a 40 metre break for the ball to be recycled for Gary Warvill to score, Murray adding the extras. Next, a Jonty Sweetman break again was recycled and fed out for a James Curran try.
Andover reasserted pressure in the Island 22, leading to a yellow card for Ollie Boulter. The blue line could not be breached as the home defence firstly stopped Andover in their tracks, then drove them back, turning over the ball with uncompromising defence. IW finished strongly, as a Murray chip was latched on to by Sweetman to score and a Sam McQueen break led to his touching down.
Next week IWRFC travel to Alton for a fixture which doubles as a league match and a Hampshire Plate quarter-final.
IWRFC: J Sweetman, G Huish, A Rann, L Murray, L Blackman, A Augustus, T Marriott, A Brown, D Blackman, J Curran, O Boulter, K Blackburn, M Newnham, S McQueen, G Smith, I Bennett, G Warvill.