Month: January 2018

Match report: 1sts v Sandown & Shanklin (A), Sat. 27 Jan. 2018

Sandown & Shanklin 15-9 IW

A titanic Hampshire One local derby went the way of the home side at the Fairway. The match was shaped by difficult conditions, due to persistent rain for the whole 80 minutes, but credit goes to both teams for some impressive handling and link play along with inevitable errors. Ultimately, Sandown/Shanklin deserved the win for their three tries, and crucially took the lead during the second half on a day when chasing the game would be more challenging than usual because of the weather. Nevertheless, IW showed great fortitude from an unpromising second half position and threatened to wrest back the advantage in a thrilling final quarter.

IW’s injury list had shortened considerably in advance of this fixture, but misfortune befell them again during the first half, losing experienced forwards Ollie Boulter and Dan Tennant to injuries. They played with the advantage of a significant breeze and slope, and started well with a Lewis Murray penalty goal after five minutes. However, S&S took control of possession for the next 20 minutes or so. IW defended a series of attacks well, but eventually the hosts got into the opposition 22 and scored from a close range drive to lead 5-3.

IW had trouble clearing their lines at times, but managed to get some advantageous territory and applied some pressure to the home side. IW’s scrum was on top throughout the game, though lineout possession could not be relied upon by either team in the challenging weather. Murray added his second penalty to regain the lead, and was narrowly wide soon after with a further effort. S&S again threatened just before half-time, leading to a yellow card for replacement Ricky Keyes and yet more disruption to the IW line-up, who did lead 6-5 at the break.

Sandown & Shanklin were certainly favourites to take the spoils at this stage, with slope and wind advantage to come, but IW started the second half brightly and extended their lead thanks to Murray’s third penalty. Yet the winners set about taking advantage of the extra player, stretching the IW defence and allowing their winger to step inside the cover for the lead score. Within ten minutes, they had a third try courtesy of some slick handling along the backline. Neither try was converted, so S&S led 15-9 with over 20 minutes still to play.

Matters seemed grim for the IW, with the elements against them and having struggled to get out of their half for a spell. However, they would respond with their best period of the game, playing the remainder of the game in Sandown territory. Dan Stirrup and Ryan Stewart were hugely impressive while Rouse Ltd man of the match David Blackman completed tireless work, and IW kept possession well. Luke Chandler also impressed when pressed into service in the unfamiliar surrounds of flanker. That IW didn’t break through for a potentially match-winning try was due to determined home defence and occasional errors in possession. The final whistle blew, leaving IW disappointed but reflecting on a match in which they showed great heart and no little skill, which will take them forward with optimism into the next two big matches; at home to league leaders United Services and then away to Farnborough in a plate semi-final.

IW: Stirrup, Sweetman, Chandler, Wood, Herbert, Murray, Marriott, Tennant, McQueen, Newnham, A Smith, Boulter, Hay, D Blackman, Stewart. Replacements: Pudney, Keyes, Williams.

Match report: 2nds v Locks Heath Pumas (A), Sat. 20 Jan. 2018

Locks Heath Pumas II 7-50 IW II

Isle of Wight RFC’s second team recorded their first win of 2018, but a second consecutive away win in a Solent 3 match played at Gosport & Fareham RFC. Heavy rain leading up to and during the game rendered conditions difficult for both teams, but at times IW played exceptional 15 man rugby, and were not flattered by the final score.

Due to the cancellation of a scheduled veterans’ game, IW fielded a more experienced second team than normal, and their mix of youth and experience proved potent throughout. Superior in all facets of the game, the winners had a constant stream of possession and generally used it well. The returning Andy White crashed over to open the scoring, soon followed by a try from prop Jim Willetts. A powerful run by Alex Smith yielded a further score, and three Lewis Murray conversions left IW up 21-0 in as many minutes.

Andy White (two-try hero and hat-trick avoider) picks up from the base, supported by Tom Marriott.

The second quarter was a more scrappy affair, as the rain intensified and Pumas gained some traction. IW were well on top in the scrum and also had much success in the lineout, while captain for the day Colman Cotter and Rouse Ltd man of the match Dillan Egan featured heavily in tight and loose play. As half-time approached, IW achieved some more continuity and Tom Turtle crashed over for a 26-0 halftime lead.

On the resumption, IW continued to dominate and played some exceptional rugby in the second half, given the conditions. White scored his second, while debutant Ross Edmunds made a significant impact, scoring two tries including one brilliant solo effort. Some opportunities went astray, but a flowing move finished by replacement Steve Sellick was probably the pick of the tries. Murray added two further conversions in the second half. Pumas remained determined throughout, before a bizarre closing five minutes of a sporting game saw a hat-trick of yellow cards (one for Pumas and two for IW) for tackles deemed to be dangerous. The mainlanders were rewarded for their spirit by scoring a converted try in the last moments of the game.

IW II are next in action at US Portsmouth on Sat. 3 Feb.

IW: Ward, Browne, Turtle, A Smith, Williams, Murray, Marriott, Rhys Martin, Newnham, Willetts, Ross Martin, Jones, Cotter, Egan, White. Replacements: Edmunds, Leahy, Sellick.

Match report: 2nds v Tottonians (H), Sat. 13 Jan. 2018

IW II 15-17 Tottonians III

Isle of Wight RFC’s second team began 2018 with a narrow defeat at Wootton Rec. Their encounter with Tottonians thirds was closely contested and IW were left to reflect on something of a missed opportunity in spite of a spirited display. They created a minor piece of club history by earning the second team’s first ever bonus point under new regulations, by losing by less than 15 points.

In the spirit of rugby, IW loaned one player to the visitors so that the match could be played 15 a side. Totts were soon on the attack after the referee deemed that IW had knocked forward the kickoff, and laid siege to the home line for several minutes before forcing their way over in the corner.

IW were undaunted and soon settled into the game. They faced a physically bigger opposition who had the edge in the set-pieces, but the home pack competed very well in all aspects of the game and regularly disrupted Totts possession. IW also looked threatening in the open spaces, but did not make full use of their own possession, as too often a wayward pass or handling error ended a promising move. The hosts’ opening score came from a Tottonians scrum near their own line – pressure from scrum-half Dave Hanson forced an error and Dillan Egan pounced for the try, converted by Dan Ward.

Totts were struggling to gain any continuity in the face of dogged IW defence, and this yielded dividends as James Fitton dummied through for a fine, unconverted score on the half-hour. The Islanders then let themselves down defensively just before half-time, allowing the mainland team some soft yardage and eventually their second try. IW led 12-10 at the break.

The evenly contested nature of proceeding continued on the resumption, though IW were quicker into their stride and forced a penalty, which Ward kicked to extend their lead. Totts responded and played some of their best rugby, though IW battled well, with Tom Turtle impressing in a Rouse Ltd man of the match performance, while debutants Will Harrison and Adam Peckham also showed up strongly.

Tottonians got reward for a spell of territorial dominance by breaking through for a crucial try with 20 minutes remaining. The conversion gave them the lead, but IW were nothing if not resolute and would have the better of the final quarter. As the minutes ticked away, the hosts looked likely to break through on occasions, with Ward very nearly making the line. The first-half issues with rushed passes and errors recurred, and though IW played their part in an exciting match, the final whistle left them down-hearted but looking forward to Locks Heath Pumas next time out.

IW: Ward, Peckham, Hallam, Tennant, Ormerod, Fitton, Hanson, Brine, Turtle, W Harrison, N Harrison, J Bishop, L Blackman, Egan, Joyce. Reps: Bennett, Sellick, Jones.