The spoils were effectively decided in the first half where an experienced and well-drilled Totts side dictated terms and built up an unassailable lead. Parading a strong and efficient pack and employing a notably effective kicking game with wind advantage, the victors did plenty of damage to IW line-out ball, though the hosts competed well in the scrums. While IW defended with determination by and large, a couple of miscommunications were punished, and the Totts rolling maul also proved a fearsome weapon. The score read 33-0 at the break.
With a number of tactical switches and IW’s resolve to do better in the second half, the next 40 minutes were very different as IW were much more competitive and matched their opponents. Jake Puckett (son of club president Nick) impressed on debut with a great defensive shift, while Biffa man of the match Tom Groves was effective on his return from injury and Rouse man of the match Ned Guy played with determination. Also making seasonal debuts were Owain Hooper, Matt Hallam and Dan Tennant, while Henry Edwards showed great pace from full-back, almost opening IW’s account.
Though enjoying territorial dominance and getting close to the Totts line on three separate occasions, IW could not score as the mainlanders’ defence was gritty and organised. With ten minutes to go, Totts made their sole incursion of the half into the IW 22, and left with a converted try to ensure they also won the second half. IW were disappointed with the final scoreline, but take heart from a strong second 40 as they welcome Havant III to Wootton Rec on Saturday, with a 3 pm kickoff.
IW: S Browne, Hooper, Spence, White, Wynyard-Wright, Williams, Hallam, Willetts, Guy, Metcalfe, Wheale, J Bishop, Tennant, Puckett, A Groves. Replacements: T Groves, Warvill, Edwards.
Match report: Isle of Wight RFC
Isle of Wight RFC