IW II 12-41 Sandown & Shanklin II
In a rearranged game from earlier in the season, IW seconds were well beaten by their local rivals. The winners paraded a strong team and their victory was founded on a very strong opening half-hour, which gave them a substantial lead. IW battled hard to get back in the contest but never looked likely to win.
The hosts started strongly building sustained pressure on the Sandown line, but good defence kept them out before a serious ankle injury to a Sandown player required a long stoppage for ambulance attention. The game was then moved to the adjacent pitch for the rest of the first half, and Sandown took control with three quick-fire tries, featuring strong ball-carrying and some less than impressive IW defence. IW did get on the scoresheet courtesy of a determined carry by captain Sam McQueen after 25 minutes, but the victors had the last word of the first half and led 22-5 at the break.
The third quarter was dominated by Sandown and decided the match’s outcome, as they showed attacking prowess and capitalised on some IW errors, showing ability to turn over the home team’s ball frequently. The Rangers had their moments, and stand-out performances from Rouse Ltd man of the match Jason Corney and debutants Callum Pudney and Luke Blackman. They also won the scrum battle, a notable achievement against a bigger pack, while the lineout was secure and led to IW’s second try, the last score of the game. A textbook catch and drive lineout from 10 metres out was illegally halted at the goal line, so the referee awarded a penalty try, due reward for a spirited display despite a clearcut defeat.
IW: Ormerod, Sweatman, James, Gates, Harley, Browne, Cotter, Tombleson, McQueen, Bassett, Harrison, Corney, Pudney, Jones, Curran. Replacements: Brine, Pettifer, Leahy, L Blackman, Willetts.