On a cold, but thankfully dry, day in Gosport Vectis went down to a heavy defeat. conceding 8 tries to a physical Gosport RFC side.
Short of regular forwards Will Ridley, usually a centre was drafted into the pack along with debutant Jack Smith. Vectis started brightly with an early try from Nathan Sanchez after a well-worked backs move, and a length of the field effort from Tom Branagh converted by Rory Taylor.
Gosport, however, came back into the game quickly and before half time scored 3 converted tries, with Vectis missing tackles and allowing the strong runners in the Gosport backs a free run at the line on each occasion. The Gosport Pack were getting on top, despite the strong efforts of Johnny Graham, pushed into being an emergency hooker, and Sam Thomas. The ball was frequently lost at the breakdown with Vectis being pushed off the ball or the ball not being cleared away quickly enough, and the defence behind was disorganised leaving plenty of space for some very strong runners to exploit. The problems were compounded by Sam Thomas leaving the pitch in the first half with an injury.
In the second-half the pattern was repeated again and again and Gosport were able to run turnover ball at an increasingly porous defence. The home ran in 4 further tries, all under the posts, and converted all of them, and only desperate tackling kept the score down. Despite the problems on the pitch, there was no lack of effort from the Vectis team, but on the day they were short of organisation and experience and didn’t threaten the Gosport line again.
Team: Smith; Fu; Graham; Lawal-Reiley; Ridley; Thomas; Newton; Caddick; Bleriot; Methold; Taylor; Butchers; Sanchez; Mahoney; Branagh; Hatch; Johnson; Keywood.
Match report: Andrew Hatch