US Portsmouth RFC 2XV 5-59 Isle of Wight RFC 2XV
Isle of Wight’s seconds reinforced their position at the top of Hampshire Three with a resounding victory over United Services on the 4G pitch at HMS Temeraire. They followed on from their strong home performance last week with a stunning all-court showing which the home side could not match.
IW’s youthful side based their victory not only on exciting running play but also on vigorous competition up front, ensuring that USP rarely had clean ball with which to operate. IW’s line speed was also excellent and the key element in their defensive showing. The back row of Bettum, Spence and debutant Brian Fu were central to the forward effort, but it was a true 15 man performance. From the opening try by Adam Peckham after 8 minutes, IW always looked the more likely in the wider channels.
General play was even at times and after IW’s second try, they switched off from a quickly taken USP penalty, and the hosts scythed through for their sole score. The Islanders responded well, as Peckham scored a second with an acrobatic finish, but the star of the show was undoubtedly Biffa man of the match Luke Margham, with a remarkable 34 point haul made up of four tries and seven conversions. He scored his first before the break, added to a brilliant score from debutant Tom Blowers, to leave IW leading 28-5 at half-time.
Manager Dean Jennings and captain Matt Hallam urged no let-up on the re-start in case USP got back in the game, and their message was heeded as IW dominated the second half. Along with further tries by the irrepressible Margham, there was a debut try for Karl Davey who squeezed over in the final play of the match. IW remain five points clear at the top of the league, with a big game at home to Kingsclere next on the horizon.
IW: Fitton, Hooper, Hallam, Margham, Peckham, Warvill, Elsom, Davey, Turtle, Harrison, Blowers, Biles, Bettum, Spence, Fu. Replacements: Miles, Ross Martin, Leahy.