Tottonians IV 32- 5 Isle of Wight II
This was to be the Isle of Wight second string’s first game of 2016 following six weeks of games abandoned due to weather or opposition cancellation. Therefore, travelling to the top of the league and unbeaten Tottonians 4ths was a daunting task.
Travelling without substitutes, the IW upon arrival discovered the Tottonians ranks had been swelled due to postponement of their first, second and third team fixtures. Conditions were wet but the game got underway regardless. The first ten minutes were spent with both teams testing their defences via forwards and back moves. During this phase the reliable hands of full back Tom Turtle were well tested. Stout defensive displays from IW’s front eight battled hard against the vastly experienced and physically larger Totts pack, until following a number of controlled phases, Tottonians opened the scoring with a converted try.
The Totts fly half’s kicking display continued to ensure the opposition great field position where their well drilled set piece was fruitful in the first half scoring another try. Totts also kicked two penalties to take a commanding 18-0 half time lead.
IW then had to contend with a completely new team being fielded at the break where Totts made replacements in what appeared to be in all positions. It was Totts who scored first with an early pushover try from the scrum despite determined efforts by the away pack. Things were looking worrying for the Islanders and the flood gates looked potentially about to open. However the IW XV rallied and a conscious decision to up the game tempo meant the Island spent the next twenty minutes playing some creative attacking rugby and began to test the Totts defence in all areas. Up front the second row partnership of Tim Greedy and Dan Bishop began to make inroads in the opposition defence with some big carries , supported by the back row efforts of Ryan Stewart and Brandon Frost- Jones which began to provide quick ball for IW debutant and Rouse Ltd man of the match Jacob Jordan to release the backline’s attack
IW were now camped in the opposition half for long periods and many phases; however the home side’s well organised defence was well up to the task and they continued to repel the IW attacking efforts. Winger Dan Greaves began to find space out wide and his pace troubled the home defence on many occasions, but handling errors and decision making meant IW were unable to take advantage of their dominance and field position during this phase of the game.
The team finally got off the mark and possibly scored the try of the match, stemming from defending in their own 22. Fly half Colman Cotter was forced to run out of defence and found centre Andy Rann who picked the only space in the Totts defensive line. Rann was then supported by full back Tom Turtle who bulldozed three would be tacklers before off-loading to Jamie Bishop to score his first try for the club. IW continued to create further attacking phases but another try by the home side would see the home team maintain their deserved unbeaten record and position at the top of the table.
R. Keyes, T. Love, M. Newnham, T.Greedy, D. Bishop, B. Frost-Jones, R. Stewart, J Jordan, C. Cotter (capt), D Stirrup, A. Rann, T. Turtle, D. Greaves, J. Bishop, J Wynyard-Wright.