Kingsclere 0-99 Isle of Wight
In glorious conditions at Kingsclere, IW ran out facile winners in their first match of the 2018-19 season, a first round Hampshire Plate tie.
Though several players from last season’s squad were unavailable to the Islanders, their experimental line-up showed great promise in this encounter. Their opposition’s lower league status was painfully evident at times, but IW will be pleased at how they converted pre-season training patterns into the reality of a competitive match, scoring some excellent tries. The opening try after three minutes was arguably the pick of the bunch, as upwards of 20 phases of accurate breakdown work and slick handling resulted in a great try for fly-half and player-coach Alex Augustus. Kingsclere spent little time in IW territory, being forced on the defensive repeatedly by the victors, who built a 47-0 lead by half-time.
IW did not let up on the resumption, and as Kingsclere wilted in the heat, found space and tries easier to come by. Andy Rann helped himself to a hat-trick on his return after a season’s hiatus, while braces were registered by Tom Marriott, James Webster, man of the match Sam McQueen, David Blackman. Grant Smith and the returning Andy Brown also touched down, and captain Lewis Murray scored a try and kicked 12 conversions for a 29 point haul.
IW look forward to the Plate quarter-final next month, but more immediately to their opening game in Hampshire One this Saturday, where they host Andover II. The second team entertain Andover III in Hampshire Three. Both matches kick off at 3 pm at Wootton Rec.
IW: Sweetman, Mitchell, Rann, Murray ©, Webster, Augustus, Marriott, Smith, McQueen, Newnham, Boulter, Blackburn, Raunigger, D Blackman, Brown. Replacements: Curran, J Bishop, D Bishop.