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.